“Only the colored people themselves can determine their political, social and economic future.”

William Monroe Trotter

Research Film Studio

Prof. EA Kiss

This course uncovers the roots of racial injustice in Hollywood; the secret, but cardinal role Woodrow Wilson played in the production and distribution of D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation that led directly to the rebirth of the KKK and increased violence against Afro-Americans; and William Monroe Trotter’s fight against the state propaganda film. Wilson’s policy of segregation was adapted by Hollywood as a self-censoring industry regulation of representation. Black people could only appear on screen as subservient and marginal characters, never as equals, partners or leaders. This code, Wilson’s legacy, has become second nature to Hollywood.


“I Can’t Breathe”: Professional Witnessing and Documentary Truth

Zora Neal Hurston (as a filmmaker) museum vitrine; Ida B. Wells-Barnett museum vitrine; Gordon Parks museum vitrine; Ava DuVernay museum vitrine; Mario Van Peebles museum vitrine; film montage and film essay on documenting the “ob-scene” and the “invisible man/woman”


Ava DuVernay


The Tree of Learning

Gordon Parks



Mario Van Peebles


Ethnographic Film Essays

Zora Neal Hurston


King Vidor


On Lynchings

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Website concept and design: Erika A. Kiss & Sabi

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