Videos for teaching English Language, Literature and Culture
B.1. U.S. Period
Against The Odds--The Artists of the Harliem Renaissance

(PBS Home Video) (Color, 60 mins)
Category: Art History (African-American victual art)

709 Ed21  1994

Based on the acclaimed Newark Museum exhibit of the same name, Against The Odds: The artists of the Harlem Renaissance tells how black artists triumphed over formidable odds. This documentary, narrated by actor Joe Morton, features more than 130 rarely seen paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures by black artists, and even more rarely seen archival footage of those artists at work.

The period of the 1920s and '30s known as the Harlem Renaissance encompassed an extraordinary outburst of creativity by African-American visual artists. Racial prejudice and segregation, however, not only kept them out of the mainstream museums and galleries where they could show and sell their art, but threatened the very core of their personal artistic expression.

Rich archival footage, including newsreels and photographs, recalls the influential force of the exhibitions, the vibrancy of Harlem in the roaring twenties, and the many significant personalities that shaped the movement, such as William E. Harmon, W.E.B. Dubois, and Alain Locke.

American Pioneers



The independence of American poetry from England took nearly 75 years longer to achieve than political independence. Self-consciously American themes dressed in imitative British style were finally overcome by Edgar Allan Poe's insistence on devotion to poetry as musiside art, Whitman's exuberant, self-confident bravado - its flip side.
Beat Generation: An American Dream

306 F724 Ve

A look at the small group of writers and artists of the early 1950s that voiced their concerns over America's post-WWII euphoria and values in a manner so raucous and colorful that the media dubbed them the Beat Generation. (86 mins.)
Black Theater The Making of a Movement

810 K52 Ve

Black Theatre: the Making of a Movement recaptures the birth of a new theatre from the Civil Rights activism of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. It is a veritable video encyclopedia of the leading figures, institutions  and events of a movement which transformed the American stage.

Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, James Earl Jones and Ntozake Shange describe their aspirations for a theatre serving the  black community. Clips from A Raisin in the Sun, Black Girl, Dutchman and For Colored Girls... reveal how these actors and playwrights laid the basis for the black  theatre of the present.  (source)

Power and Imagination: American Writers in Modern World 



The scholarly interview makes comparison and contrast between. Their importance in literature is discussed with American history, American writers, such as, James, Hemingway, Twain, Whitman, and Elliot.

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