Monday 25 May 2015
The Campaign for Civil Rights during the 1950s and 1960s
"It's a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with."
"An unjust law is no law."
—Martin Luther King
For an assessment of Seeger's life and career, you might wish to read Susan Green in Critics at Large
We will be showing clips from the 2007 documentary Peter Seeger: The Power of Song
Roger Ebert says that the film is a tribute to the legendary singer and composer who thought music could be a force for good, and proved it by writing songs that have actually helped shape our times ("If I Had a Hammer" and "Turn, Turn, Turn") and popularizing "We Shall Overcome" and Woody Guthrie's unofficial national anthem, "This Land Is Your Land."
For a review of a one-man play on the life of Paul Robson, you might wish to read my review from Critics at Large
Selection from a review by Roger Ebert
Eyes on the Prize is the most comprehensive, detailed, and informative series of any covering the Civil Rights struggles from the early stages through the 1980's. This is a must see for any person looking to get information and insight on what the struggle for equality was like for black people in America. They compile actual footage from historical events, along with interviews with some of the people who were actually there. This series will make you go through a range of emotions as you actually feel of part of the history that you are viewing. Julian Bond, (who participated in many of these events) does a masterful job a narrating the entire series. This is one series that you must have in your collection.
As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society. This is an excellent film superior to the acclaimed Selma.
For a perceptive review of this film, I would recommend Steve Vineberg's piece in Critics at Large.
In 1965, 21-year-old Torontonian, Paul Saltzman drove to Mississippi, volunteering as a civil rights worker with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He was arrested, spending 10 days in jail. He smuggled letters out of jail to the Toronto Star. Canadian Foreign Affairs requested his release but Saltzman declined. Posted to one of the toughest segregationist towns, Greenwood, he helped disadvantaged sharecroppers register to vote. He was assaulted by a young Klansman. In 2007, Saltzman returned to find the KKK member who had punched him in the head, to explore if individual reconciliation was possible. He found him and a 5 year dialogue has ensued. His assailant was, Byron de la Beckwith Jr., whose father, Byron de la Beckwith Sr. likely murdered NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers.
While traveling in the Deep South, Virgil Tibbs, a black Philadelphia homicide detective, becomes unwittingly embroiled in the murder investigation of a prominent businessman when he is first accused of the crime and then asked to solve it. Finding the killer proves to be difficult, however, especially when his efforts are constantly thwarted by the bigoted town sheriff. But neither man can solve this case alone. Putting aside their differences and prejudices, they join forces in a desperate