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THE FILMS

See the following free documentaries on YouTube: No Teacher Left Behind; 1st Grade Wisdom: What's Inside of Me; The Cathedral Flower; Touche
THE BLACK INDIANS OF NEW ORLEANS

“This classic award-winning documentary is the first definitive treatment of the origins and rituals of the Black Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, It features two tribes: The Yellow Pocahontas led by Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana, and The White Eagles, led by Big Chief Gerald “Jake” Milon. The first part of the film reveals the sociocultural history of the Mardi Gras Indians, their costume prepartion, music, songs, dance and gatherings for a ritual practice. The second part is a sunrise to sunset visual account of the processions and street culture of the Black Indians on Mardi Gras Day. The film was screened for a full week in the New York Whitney Museum’s New Filmmakers Series. also was a finalist in the Cine Golden Eagle Awards and was screened at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. International festivals/screenings include: The Pompedeau Centre in Paris; London; Berlin; West Africa.”

 

​[runtime: 33 minutes]

 

View "The Black Indians of New Orleans" trailer on YouTube >

TOO WHITE TO BE BLACK, TOO BLACK TO BE WHITE: THE NEW ORLEANS CREOLE

 

Best documentary [2ND PLACE WINNER]: Cine Noir Film Festival 2007

 

If the “melting pot” theory ever existed in America, it happened in New Orleans. This presentation examines a group of marginalized mixed-race Americans who are phenotypically both multicultural and multiethnic. This documentary is the first authentic treatment of a group of Americans who proudly identify themselves as “Creoles.” It provides first-hand accounts of their experiences in New Orleans. After reconstruction, the supreme court decision, Plessy V. Ferguson (1896), divided America into two worlds: one white and one disenfranchised black. The Creole stories they tell in this documentary speak to the social history of the United States where the fruits of the American Dream were rewarded to those with European features, light skin, and “good hair.” Often, survival meant giving up one’s “gens de couleur” [colored people] identity to assimilate into white America. The process of “becoming a productive American” has been fraught with both rejection and racism for Creoles of color…….this is their story.

 

[runtime: 60 minutes]

 

View the "Too White to Be Black, Too Black To Be White" trailer on YouTube >

BLACK WOMEN SPEAK

 

Out of the social fabric of American life, African American women have faced challenges with strength and resilience. In spite of racial and gender barriers to achieving success in Mainstream America, many Black women have responded with tenacity and a work ethic that proved to be a pathway to productive and satisfying careers.   This documentary presents true stories of the experiences of successful Black Women, role models for youth who are seeking answers to uncertain futures.

 

[runtime: 40 minutes]

 

View the "Black Women Speak" trailer on YouTube >

 

IRENE

 

This documentary is the true story of an African American woman, Ms. Irene Wallace from impoverished rural Pender County, North Carolina. As a young girl, Irene had to walk three miles to attend a one-room school house (built by Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald). Inspired by articles she read in EBONY magazine, Irene graduated from a Historic Black College with a degree in business-education. She worked in the Federal Government Service and rose in the ranks to a General Manager of electronic systems for the U.S. Navy. The second part to this documentary, tells of the racist burning of Antioch Church, Irene’s Black Church, on Martin Luther King’s birthday. Among the many volunteer communities and individuals who helped to rebuild Antioch Church depicted in this film were a group of Harvard University students who, rather than spend their Spring Break on the beaches of Florida, came to Irene’s aid and worked to rebuild her Church. Irene is an inspiration to Black youth, and a role model. At the end of the film, Irene shares some advice and words of wisdom that contributed to her success in America.

 

​[runtime: 23 minutes]

THE QUORUM: BLACKS, CREOLES, AND WHITES ARRESTED IN NEW ORLEANS FOR SOCIALIZING AT A COFFEE HOUSE

 

A documentary by Maurice M. Martinez and Harriet J. Ottenheimer, Coedited by Bryan Houser

 

In the politically and racially charged atmosphere of the 1960s, The Quorum coffee house created a successful model for multicultural exchange. Opened in 1963 to persons from all racial backgrounds, The Quorum became a frequent target of segregationist harassment in New Orleans. In 1964 police raided The Quorum taking 73 people to jail and accusing them of things like “playing guitars out of tune.” Engaging in conversations without conclusion and booked them for disturbing the peace, “The Quorum” shows what happens when ordinary people become involved in extraordinary events.

 

[runtime: 60 minutes]

 

View "The Quorum" trailer on YouTube >

LA VIDA NO ES FACIL (Life is Not Easy)

 

This documentary examines the issue of the ineligibility of undocumented immigrants for in-state tuition at North Carolina's public universities and how this situation affects the lives of college-aged Latino students. Director Maurice M. Martinez examines this controversial topic through the stories of three such students who were born to poor farm workers in Mexico. They have spent much of their lives in the U.S. and are struggling to find the financial resources to attend college.

 

[runtime: 60 minutes]

 

View the "La Vida No Es Facil" trailer on YouTube >

WINGS OF WOOD - The Art of Creole Wood Carvers of New Orleans

 

Creole wood carvers in New Orleans have been creating works of art for centuries. Their duck decoys are regarded as treasures by collectors. This video documentary presents an in-depth look at the work of the Hutchison family: Charles, Rudolph and Eric Hutchison. Their innovative decorative carvings and realistic sculptures in wood speak to the refined levels of creativity that have emerged from the Creole culture of New Orleans. Old videotape footage of the great Mitchel Lafrance is included along with the works of other Creole wood carvers.

 

[runtime: 23 minutes]

 

View the "Wings of Wood" trailer on YouTube >

 

THE SACRIFICIAL POETS: LIVE IN CONCERT

 

“The Sacrificial Poets” of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a performing group of young poets who have received high recognition in national and international poetry slams.In this documentary just preceeding the presidential election in 2008, the poets offer poignant and insightful commentaries about life in America in a live performance at UNCW.

 

[runtime: 56 minutes]

HAVE MERCY DR. PERCY:  A TRIBUTE TO PERCY HEATH

 

One of America’s National Treasures, Wilmington, North Carolina’s native Percy Heath was a stellar Jazzman, and an innovator on the string bass. After graduation from Williston High School at the top of his class, he became a fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. Percy performed with the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet for more than 40 years, and his bass playing can be heard on more than 350 recordings. He has performed with a long list of Jazz luminaries, including his two brothers, Jimmy Heath (tenor saxophone) and Albert “Tootie” Heath (drums), known as the Heath Brothers. This documentary includes footage from a workshop and performance on cello in Wilmington. During that visit, Percy Heath received a star in the sidewalk of Wilmington’s Walk of Fame, an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from UNCW, and the Living Legend Award from the Black Arts Alliance. Percy died in 2005, just two days shy of his 82nd birthday.

 

[runtime: 45 minutes]

BLACK FRAÜLEIN

 

The daughter of an African American soldier and a German mother, Black Fraulein compares her life in Germany with her life in North Carolina. Her story looks at America through the eyes of a bicultural, mixed-race woman.

 

[runtime: 26 minutes]

MISERICORDS:  HIDDEN MIRRORS OF MEDIEVAL LIFE [5 videos]

 

“MISERICORDS” is a term meaning “Mercy Seat.” It was a small seat placed at buttocks height on the underside of a hinged larger seat, that when opened, the small “Mercy Seat” served as a bench for the monks and clergy who appeared to be standing. They were really resting on the small protruding “Mercy Seat”. Under each Misericord were carvings that served as braces to support the small Mercy Seat. These carvings were organized using the Four Mirrors of Vincent of Beauvais as a framework for the study of Misericords.

 

A. INTRODUCTION    

B. THE MIRROR OF NATURE    

C. THE MIRROR OF INSTRUCTION  

D. THE MIRROR OF MORALITY    

E. THE MIRROR OF HISTORY

 

The five videotapes, one half-hour each, present a unique study of the iconography of the medieval misericords that still exist on the choir stalls in twelve countries in Western Europe. These remarkable wooden carvings, placed where they could not be seen, reveal aspects of everyday life not found on the grand carvings of saints on church facades and altarpieces.

 

The content of these videotapes presented by Elaine C. Block and Maurice M. Martinez were made from the photography of ten thousand misericords, hundreds of manuscript illuminations, altarpieces and sixteenth-century engravings. These provide unusual insights into the lifestyles and beliefs of medieval Europe. The ethical concepts and practices of the time, as well as such topics as the roles of women, iconography, and literature, are examined in the context of these collected images.

 

These five videotapes were shown in the Film and Video Programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, in October, 1993.

 

[runtime: 30 minutes each]

THE PIANO ENTERTAINER: STOMPIN' GRENOLDO FRAZIER

 

The genius of pianist/vocalist/composer and entertainer Grenoldo Frazier is his ability to transform a dull, boring space into a comfortable enjoyable time. Born in Wilmington, NC, Grenoldo was honored by the Celebrate Wilmington committee on February 6, 2014, with a “star” in the sidewalk in Wilmington’s Walk of Fame. His musical repertoire ranges from Country to Blues, from Broadway to Bach, including Jazz, Shout, and Swing. This documentary, “The Piano Entertainer; Stompin’ Grenoldo Fgazier, in the words of music critic Roberta Penn: “highlights a string of glamorous events and experiences that shine like lights on Broadway….a biography in the first person, Grenoldo Frazier came up with a script in his own melodic voice…documenting meetings with the rich and famous, a tour with Pearl Bailey, a week of singing backup with Barry Manilow, his discovery of Jennifer Holiday…etc. He is an inspiration for talented African American youth, a role model, and a living example of success in America.

 

[runtime: 42 minutes]

 

View "The Piano Entertainer: Stompin' Grenaldo Frazier" trailer on YouTube >

COLORED WHITE BOY

 

Top award, documentary, at the CINE NOIR FILM FESTIVAL, 2008.

 

The history of racial diversity in North Carolina has been kept secretive since the days of slavery. This documentary opens the shutters of sheltered truths to reveal the pathos of human existence in a social order that restricted the freedom of some and allowed unlimited privilege to others. This is a true story about a White man from Pender County who discovers that he is African American. A vibrant, moving soundtrack by Wilmington pianist/composer/vocalist, Grenoldo Frazier, and New York musician, bluesman BBQ Bob, with a special appearance by folk singer Michael Wolfe, adds shades of sad-glad emotion to the textures in this poignant docudrama.

 

[runtime: 40 minutes]

 

View the "Colored White Boy" trailer on YouTube >

 

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