Film: 7911

Social History | 1960 | Sound + Silent | B/W


A film that includes elements of the Civil Rights Protests of the 1960s in America.
15.2.61 - Silent - Small Town America. Blacks tutored. Snow covers car and small houses, church, church yard. A female white teacher with black children sitting around a low table (there is a television in the corner of the room). Children writing. Children sitting at a table with white male and female teachers. A black man sitting with white woman, they nod (as if speaking to someone). Black children smiling. View of a table from directly above, children are writing on all four sides.
25.6.61 - Sound - Washington DC, U.S.A.. Poster on wall, picture of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Black Muslims / the Nation of Islam, in top right hand corner. The poster states that he will be speaking at Uline Arena on Separation or Death'. Pans to reveal long queue of black men in suits and ties waiting to enter the Arena. A long queue of black women in their smart clothes. Black men in militaristic uniforms. A member of the Fruit of Islam frisking a man entering the hall. Black female Muslims in white, seated in the arena. Female speaker at the rostrum, Fruit of Islam members in bow ties stand in front of rostrum with arms folded. Speaker talks of everyone being free. 'Anyone who works without knowledge works uselessly.' Aim is to imbue the black American with knowledge of past. Applause, the crowd. Malcolm X at rostrum. He collects $20 bills from the audience, there is general amusement when it is suggested that money is being donated by George Lincoln Rockwell.
7.11.61 - Silent - Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.. Black people protest against the segregation policies that exist in the city. Old woman with 'Self-Rule' arm band hands out leaflets. Black people entering hall for mass meeting. White man at rostrum holding up chart (although it is not clear this is a chart that proves that school districts were drawn up to conform with residential segregation). Black vicar speaking. A large booth at the rostrum hiding the identity of a teacher who fears that they will lose their job if their identity be revealed. Teacher comes out of the rear of the box covered in a sheet still leaving his/her identity a mystery. S/he is guided away.
1.10.66 - Sound - San Francisco, California, U.S.A.. Police and National Guard battle with rioting Afro-Americans. Street littered with debris. A shot is heard. Police with guns. Black man falls to the ground. Black man being restrained by another. Gun fire, camera shakes, white man runs across street. Police with guns and helmets. Injured black man on road as police walk around him. Car peppered with bullet holes. Black man lying on ground holding face. Black man in street with hands raised. Line of black men walking in street with hands raised. They have an armed police escort. National Guard troops marching, jeep. National Guard troops on parade in street being told by officer not to antagonise blacks. National Guard advancing in a line with rifles at the ready. Troops beating a black man at night (the mayor has instigated a curfew).
11.7.67 - Sound - Greensborough, North Carolina, U.S.A.. Armed guards protect house of black minister in a white neighbourhood. Three black men sitting on a sofa, they all look concerned. Man sitting in chair next to bed on which lies a rifle. A broken window. Two women at a table, one holds an infant. Watching television over the viewer's shoulder. Reverend Frank Williams, the man that is being guarded, states that these men are there because things might develop into violence.
12.2.68 - Silent - Orangeburg, South Carolina, U.S.A.. Aftermath of integration riots that left three dead and thirty-four injured. Orangeburg sign on side of building. Orangeburg high street with cars. Black people walking along pavement beneath Drug Store sign. Sign, 'South Carolina State College', the nucleus of the rioting. The 'All Star Snack Bar', the bowling alley whose segregation policy initiated the riots. U.S. Army vehicles on road. The National Guard: soldiers talking, others marching at night. A car comes into view with 'Highway Patrol' written on the bonnet. Governor of Orangeburg, McNair, at press conference urging everyone to use restraint in order to avoid violence.
11.7.68 - Sound - New York, U.S.A. - Riots outside City Hall. Black people standing on cars outside City Hall. Police moving in. Plain clothes policeman pushing black man through crowd. Black wearing sun glasses speaks through megaphone. Black youths to left of him clapping in time with the chanting coming from the listening crowd. Old black woman interviewed in street. She wears horn rimmed spectacles. Mounted police man on horse, police in background holding back crowds. Black people standing on cars. Black man being pushed by a white man in a suit from the middle of the road in front of the City Hall back to the crowd on the other side. Uniformed policemen.
16.7.68 - Sound - black militants rally as Black Panther goes on trial. The leader seated in a large wicker chair, he has been charged with killing a policeman. The Black Panther logo. Black people carrying placards stating 'Free Huey Now' (Huey P. Newton) in front of Alameda County Courthouse. The noisy crowd on the steps of the courthouse. A Panther leader attempting to keep the crowd moving. Rear view of police officers wearing helmets inside the courthouse (at a discreet distance from the protestors). Black man with a large American flag (he had just lowered it), police officers converge on him (the only violence during this demo).

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