The Kansas Experiment: Part I

An “experiment” is how Kansas Governor Sam Brownback referred to the drastic tax cuts (the largest in the state’s history) he signed into law in 2012 after his state was emerging from a recession. In this first part of a three-part documentary series on the fallout from the experiment, we learn about how this plan–which … READ MORE

Tell Them We Are Rising

The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. With Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, the latest documentary … READ MORE

HBCU Grads Share Their Stories of Campus Life

Graduates of Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are proud alums, and in connection with the Independent Lens film Tell Them We Are Rising, which tells the 170 years—and rising—history of HBCUs, we found a few who were happy to tell their own stories of life on an HBCU campus. These are just a sampling of … READ MORE

Tell Them We Are Rising – Separate But Unequal – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary Tell Them We Are Rising, future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, not a great student when an undergrad at Lincoln University but who became a brilliant legal mind at Howard University Law School, takes a road trip in 1934 with Howard Law dean Charles Hamilton Houston to … READ MORE

Tell Them We Are Rising – Trailer

The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. With Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, the latest documentary … READ MORE

Filmmakers Marco Williams and Stanley Nelson Tell an Essential Chapter of American History in Story of HBCUs

Tell Them We Are Rising, which premieres on Independent Lens on PBS Monday, February 19 at 9 pm [check local listings], covers the rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from before the end of slavery through a flourishing in the 20th century to today, and how they profoundly influenced the course of … READ MORE

Jose and Mr. Ramos: The Dreamer

A follow-up to East of Salinas, The Dreamer revisits Jose Ansaldo, a bright, optimistic kid about to graduate from middle school in Salinas, California, the nation’s “salad bowl.” His single mother is a farmworker who struggles to support Jose and his siblings. Jose does well in school and dreams of going to college to become … READ MORE

Tell Them We Are Rising

The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. With Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, the latest documentary … READ MORE

Jose and Mr. Ramos

In East of Salinas we met a bright boy and his dedicated teacher, both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents who are busy working long hours in the fields, third grader Jose Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. But Jose is undocumented. While he worries more for his parents than … READ MORE

They Call Us Monsters

They Call Us Monsters goes behind the walls of the Compound, a high-security facility where Los Angeles houses its most violent juvenile criminals, to follow three young offenders who sign up to take a screenwriting class with producer Gabe Cowan as they await their respective trials. Arrested at 16, Jarad faces 200 years-to-life for four … READ MORE

Teachers Beat the “Macho Culture” in Prisons through Art Programs

In the early 2000s, Hollywood invested in the urban fairy tale where a teacher is called into the principal’s office of a school in a low-income, broken part of town and is requested to help “build character and morale.” (Think Samuel L. Jackson in Coach Carter, Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead and Hilary Swank … READ MORE

They Call Us Monsters – Juan’s Unrequited Crush – Clip

In this excerpt from the Independent Lens film They Call Us Monsters, teenager Juan, who is incarcerated for 90 years-to-life for first degree murder, talks about the girl he’s had a crush on since kindergarten and may never have a chance to tell her how he really feels given his situation. Juan, who is learning … READ MORE