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197 Newly Digitized Films From The Archives Now Available For Viewing Online Via The Black Film Center

197 Newly Digitized Films From The Archives Now Available For Viewing Online Via The Black Film Center

News you can most certainly use from the Black Film Center/Archive (the above photo is from In The Rapture):

The Indiana University Libraries have recently posted 197 newly digitized films from their educational film collections. Among these are several films by and about African Americans, including 1985′s award-winning The Masters of Disaster, documenting the successes of a chess team of black sixth-graders; the 1976 musical drama In the Rapture, performed at the Church of the Living God, Temple #18, in Indianapolis; and a corresponding discussion film, The Rapture Family, led by IU’s Dr. Herman Hudson, Dean for Afro-American Affairs, and Dr. William H. Wiggins, Jr., Professor of Afro-American Studies. You can find these online here.

Indeed, serious scholarship has increasingly turned its attention towards educational film, as evidenced with last year’s publication of Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States and Useful Cinema.

This list includes two prominent black filmmakers represented in the collections of BFC/A: William Greaves and St. Clair Bourne.

Greaves, who won four Emmys and produced National Entertainment Television’s (pre-cursor to PBSBlack Journal, has an extensive catalog of educational films here

And here, check out the New York Times Lens series to explore the legacy of St. Clair Bourne and his Chamba productions.

Though educational films can now be viewed as amusing, cultural relics from another era, many of these films serve as important historical documents from the past,” said IU Libraries Film Archivist Rachael Stoeltje, in a press release from the IU Libraries.

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