Celebrate Black History
Imagine the Sound
Directed by Ron Mann • 1981 • Canada
The first feature documentary by counterculture chronicler Ron Mann is an eloquent tribute to a group of highly celebrated artists who helped forge the once-controversial free jazz movement of the 1960s. Bringing together interviews with and performances by legendary musicians like pianists Cecil Taylor and Paul Bley, tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp, and trumpet player Bill Dixon, this vital record of jazz history pays tribute to the innovators whose fearless artistic vision brought forth a revolution in sound.
Up Next in Celebrate Black History
Directed by Kathleen Collins • 1982 • United States
Starring Seret Scott, Bill Gunn, Duane Jones
One of the first feature films directed by an African American woman, Kathleen Collins’s LOSING GROUND tells the story of a marriage between two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives...
Say Amen, Somebody
Directed by George T. Nierenberg • 1982 • United States
One of the most acclaimed music documentaries of all time is a joyous, funny, deeply emotional ode to gospel music and African American culture. Featuring the father of gospel, Thomas A. Dorsey; its matron, Willie Mae Ford Smith; and earth-...
The Killing Floor
Directed by Bill Duke • 1984 • United States
Starring Damien Leake, Alfre Woodard, Moses Gunn
Originally broadcast on PBS’s “American Playhouse” in 1984, the stirring first feature from actor and filmmaker Bill Duke explores the little-known story of an African American migrant’s struggle to bui...