Public Domain Movies

A Study of Negro Artists (1933)
Running Time: 15 mins Black & White
Starring: James Latimer Allen, Richmond Barthé, Aaron Douglas
This film shows several important visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance at work.

African Americans in World War II - Legacy of Patriotism and Valor (1970)
Running Time: 69 mins Color

African Americans In World War Ii: A Legacy Of Patriotism And Valor Pin 504607 1997 Produced By The Department Of Defense 50th Anniversary World War Ii Commemorative Committee, This Video Tells The Story Of African Americans During The Period 1940 Through 1946. Covering All Phases And Theaters Of World War Ii, It Focuses On The Contributions Of These Brave Men And Women On The Home And War Fronts To The Eventual Allied Victory.

Civil Rights 1965 - Where Has the Year Gone? (1965)
Running Time: 30 mins Black & White

After a year of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a open discussion has been put forth. They discuss what will happen in the future.

History Of The Negro Soldier, The (1944)
Running Time: 60 mins Black & White

Dir. Frank Capra. Documents the significance of blacks in American history and black soldiers during World War II.

Lou Gehrig Story, The (Climax!) (1956)
Running Time: 60 mins Black & White
Starring: Wendell Corey, Jean Hagen, Harry Carey Jr.
Long-time New York Yankee star, first baseman Lou Gehrig battles ALS with the help of his wife, and of his teammate, catcher Bill Dickey. The disease cuts short Gehrig's great baseball career, and kills "The Iron Horse" within a few years.

Paul Robeson: Tallest Tree In The Forest (1977)
Running Time: 60 mins Color
Starring: Paul Robeson
A profile of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the controversial actor, singer, athlete and author who was as well-known for his politics as he was for his performances.

The Negro Sailor (1945)
Running Time: 26 mins Black & White
Starring: Henry Levin
THE NEGRO SAILOR was a propaganda film, emphasizing the need for racial harmony for victory. The film was photographed by U.S. Navy camera crews and completed at Columbia Studios.

The Negro Soldier (1944)
Running Time: 48 mins Black & White
Starring: Carlton Moss
During WWII, the U.S. government produced numerous documentaries, often under the supervision of Frank Capra, designed to build support for the war. One of the more curious entries in this effort was The Negro Soldier. The structure of the film is that of a black minister who preaches a sermon to his all-black congregation. Over the course of 40 minutes, the minister recounts the contributions of blacks in American military history, from Crispus Attucks and the Boston Massacre to the men who served in WWI, along the way touching on the War of 1812, the Civil War, the exploration of the West and the building of the railroad, the Spanish-American War, and the building of the Panama Canal. Throughout, the filmmakers blend archival footage and Hollywood re-creations to illustrate the preacher's words, and even include a re-creation of the destruction by the Nazis of a WWI monument in France to African-American soldiers. The film then slips into a more general history, telling of Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver and the roles blacks have played in such fields as law, medicine, global exploration, music, education, art, academia, and athletics. The second half of The Negro Soldier moves into the present, describing the crimes of the Germans and Japanese and filling the screen with graphic images of hangings, bombings, and bodies; following the sentimental story of a young man through basic training; and wrapping up with a slew of images showing African-Americans serving in all aspects of military life, from infantrymen and tank destroyers to engineers and quartermasters. The Negro Soldier was written by Carlton Moss, who would become an important figure in African-American independent cinema, and the following year the U.S. Navy released a follow-up of sorts, The Negro Sailor.

The New Negro (1957)
Running Time: 28 mins Black & White
Starring: Richard D. Heffner
In 1957, Richard D. Heffner sat down with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Judge J. Waties Waring to discuss the subject of “The New Negro.”