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Birmingham Public Library Hosts Civil Rights Activists at Fall Screening Series

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In anticipation of the presidential elections, the Birmingham Public Library is hosting a special screening series of  The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement across fourteen branches in September and October.

Seven local civil rights activists and foot soldiers spoke at their kick-off screening last Wednesday, September 12,  at the Linn-Henley Research Library. Check out their inspiring bios below, as well as a list of upcoming screenings that you won’t want to miss.

  • BARBARA BASEMORE  1963 child protestor. Left high school, marched and was jailed for several weeks. Her spoken quote is on the Civil Rights Trail Marker in front of the Robert Vance Courthouse on 5th Avenue North.
  • PAULETTE PORTER ROBY  Left Ullman High School and went to jail for protesting unfair practices. Stayed in jail overnight and was released by the NAACP members who paid her bond.
  • GLORIA WASHINGTON LEWIS-RANDALL  Child protestor of 1963. One of the thousands of school children who left school, marched, and was jailed for participating in the protest sit-ins and boycotts.
  • SEARCY CRAWFORD   Demonstrator of the 1956-1963 Civil Rights Movement. Jailed in the Birmingham City Jail in 1963
  • CHARLES AVERY, JR.  High school demonstrator of 1963. Led the students from Hooper City High School in protest of unfair practices. Had to be hidden in Chicago, Illinois until movement was over to assure his safety from racists and Ku Klux Klan members
  • LAVERN REVIS MARTIN  1956-1963 demonstrator who was instrumental in finding dynamite at Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth’s home and preventing a second bombing there
  • SHIRLEY GAVIN FLOYD  10 year old child in 1963 who was among demonstrators, but did not quite understand what was going on. Served as a liaison to Robin Fryday in the making of  The Barber of Birmingham documentary.
The Barber of Birmingham (Photo by Robin Fryday)

The Barber of Birmingham (Photo by Robin Fryday)

Upcoming Screenings

There will be speakers present at each screening. Check our Local Events Map for updates.

Avondale Library
Monday, September 24, 6:30 p.m.
509 – 40th St. South, (205) 226-4000

Southside Library
Tuesday, September 25, 12 p.m.
1814 – 11th Ave. South, (205) 933-7776

North Avondale Library
Wednesday, Septmeber 26, 10:30 a.m.
501 43rd St. North, (205) 592-2082

Titusville Library
Wednesday, September 26, 12 p.m.
#2 Sixth Ave. SW., (205) 322-1140

East Ensley Library
Thursday, September 27, 4 p.m.
900 14th St. Ensley, (205) 787-1928

Inglenook Library
Friday, September 28, 3 p.m.
4100 – 40th Terrace North, (205) 849-8739

Springville Road Library
Thursday, October 2, 4 p.m.
1224 Old Springville Road, (205) 226-4083 (This screening is geared towards teens.)

Five Points West Library
Friday, October 10, 10:30 a.m.
4812 Ave. W, (205) 226-4013

Smithfield Library
Saturday, October 11, 10 a.m.
#1 Eighth Ave. West, (205) 324-8428

Powderly Library
Friday, October, 19, 10:00 a.m.
3301 Jefferson Ave. SW., (205)925-6178

North Birmingham Library
Wednesday, October 22, 11 a.m.
2501 – 31st. Ave. North, (205) 226-4025

For more information, visit

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement will also rebroadcast on Alabama Public Television (APT) on September 25th. Check your local listings at

Aubrey Gallegos
Aubrey Gallegos
Aubrey started at POV as an intern in 2011, and worked briefly as Special Events Coordinator before moving into a full time position as Community Engagement and Education Coordinator. Prior to joining POV, she spent three years as an environmental educator and deckhand aboard wooden sailing ships, including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which was co-founded by Pete Seeger. She has also worked as an Event Manager for UnionDocs, a documentary art space in Brooklyn, and served as a Production Assistant on a number of independent film and theater productions. Aubrey graduated from Whitman College with bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Film Studies. Aubrey's favorite documentaries are: 1. Dont Look Back 2. Salesman 3. Sweetgrass 4. Food, Inc. 5. The Up Series
  • Michael Troudt

    Typically biased list from people who have no perspective on which docs are “great.” It should be called The Most Popular Documentaries of all time…

    • Nic

      Which, if any would you define as “great” and why (not)?

      • Rollins

        Honestly, the idea that Fahrenheit 9/11 (a piece about Michael Moore’s OPINIONS on the state of the union) is ranked higher than Woodstock (an OBJECTIVE Piece about an event that occurred) is enough, and I haven’t even gotten through the whole list. Honestly there is no such thing as running a vote like this and not having it end up as a popularity contest, but if you were to ask anyone who regularly watches, creates, and enjoys documentaries, this list would contain more “pure” documentaries and less “the facts through my eyes” docs. Ken Burns is an excellent example of a true documentarian. Moore less so.

        • SheriShirey

          There is no such thing as objectivity in human communication. All film editors make choices, and those choices reflect their point of view and reveal their intended audience.

    • WhoaPeople

      But wouldn’t you argue that if enough of an audience thought these docs were powerful enough to be put in this poll, then they would be worth watching?

  • Radiohead93

    Best Worst Movie should be on here! :D

  • pcford

    Iraq in Fragments?

  • t
  • Greggory Moore

    It’s a great list. But the fact that it lacks _DiG!_ and yet includes _Madonna: Truth or Dare_ is just sad.

  • Cindy Torrey-Brown

    I can’t believe you didn’t include EARTHLINGS!!!

    • gforge

      Maybe it’s not a documentary. Could be included in the top 100 misrepresented snuff films though

  • DSanh

    I refuse to read anything spread across several pages. It’s a stupid way to generate revenue and hit stats.

  • bsengel1

    Lots of great choices, but my favorite, Etre Et Avoir, is missing!

  • tc

    safe very safe and out of order

  • Adam

    Atrocious. Michael Moore’s movies, while great, are far from documenting reality. Roger and Me, which is fantastic, is based on a clearly documented falsity. Then Enron?! Why?! it’s good, but there aren’t better documentaries out there?! Please revise this list or rename it “MY SHAMELESS LIBERAL LIBRARY”.

    • Madam

      Only if you rename yourself “MY IGNORANT OPINION”

  • Rich Monreal

    Why wouldn’t “Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father” not make this list? It was extremely powerful and hands down the one that really got to me the most.

    • scalfc99


    • Gary Gray

      Rich…I read this comment and had never heard of Dear Zachary…so I went to youtube and watched it. I’m an emotional wreck and it has changed my life forever. Thanks for writing this. Everyone should do the same; it will change your life.

      • Rich Monreal

        Awesome to hear Gary. I’m so glad someone else was able to view this doc.
        I will say one great thing about this post. I’m getting a lot of ideas to watch some of these documentaries I’ve never heard about before.

        • Daria Milian

          Hey Rich, I just looked at the whole list(100) and your movie is #76. :) Can’t wait to see it!!

        • Anonymous

          Rich I also watched Zachary and wow. Just wow.

  • Glenn Washington

    I am very disappointed that Four Little Girls is not listed on the top 100. Spike Lee’s documentary was excellent and deserves recognition on this list.

  • Brian Holder

    Where is LOOSE CHANGE?

    • kid professor

      Loose Change isn’t a documentary. But then again, neither is Fahrenheit 9-11

  • pop2cas

    Final Offer… A Canadian film is gripping insight into labor negotiations

  • Keith Clemons

    This should be looked at in its proper context – not as a carefully assembled ranking from a committee of film professionals, but rather as its intro makes clear, simply submissions by fans of POV of their own personal favorites from whatever it is that they have seen. I would guess that most, if not all of them, are probably worth seeing at least once.

  • jailbee

    I didn’t see “Best Boy”.

  • Ron Williams

    Totally unbelievable – “Nanook of the North” at 43 and “Night Mail” unlisted. Parochial and ahistoric.

  • doug miller

    How can anyone take a list seriously that doesn’t include The Sorrow and the Pity, or ANYTHING by Ophuls or Flaherty??!! This list should be titled “Docs I recently saw and sorta remember”.

  • Liz

    A downloadable PDF of this list would be nice…

  • shiloh376

    Best comment was that this is simply a list people’s favorites. Here are a few of mine that didn’t make this particular list. Murder On A Sunday Morning, The Staircase, Young At Heart, The Devil Came On Horseback, Paperclips, Four Little Girls, The Pixar Story, and on and on.

  • Anonymous

    “One Day in September”, a documentary about the 1972 Munich Olympic Games terror attack, deserves to be on this list.

  • Matthew L Wallis

    I was going to read this article but since you spread it out to 29 pages… nope.

  • omubriosa

    The power oh nightmare, century of self, the trap? These are way better than any on the list, and paint a economic and political image of US society way better than moore documentaries, but somehow are left out. Yea, a shitty list indeed. Plus supersize me is bullshit.

  • paul

    forgot “crazy love”. a masterpiece

  • Anthony Miller

    Control Room, Wall (Mur).

  • Guest


  • mike

    The 25 “Greatest” Documentaries of All Time
    … so glad the editors put greatest in inverted commas – thus taken with the very large bag of salt it merits….does reveal an awful lot about the ‘international’ reach of POV though…

  • Damn Annoying

    POV has made my Top most annoying web pages of all time.. with this compilation.

  • John

    Catfish and Madonna? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

    • John

      I of course, was looking at the list of the Top 100.

    • PeachyBreyer

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • Craig Corpora

    Dear POV Staff, “F for Fake” is not a documentary.

  • cpierre

    I think ” When the Leevees Broke and Four Little Girls- should have been included. I can’t believe you would not included Spike Lee films.

  • Colin McAndrew

    Where on earth are One Day In September and The Rape of Europa?!?!

  • TornadoAlli

    No “Between the Folds”??!!

  • Karen Sch

    I can’t believe “Engineering an Empire” and “Besieged Fortress” and especially “Wild America” (a PBS series!) were not on this list! My heart weeps! At least a few I really like made it, though, and now I’ve got lots to look for at the library.

  • Javier

    Well to me the most glaring omission is the Michael Apted 7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up series.

    • PeachyBreyer

      It’s #13!

  • Scaliger

    This is totally biased to and by people who are under a certain age and who do not have the perspective of cinema history. Many of these are indeed great; some less so. But the great ones of a more distant past are missing.

  • Thomas

    I haven’t even heard of about 20 of these. And to have not even mentioned the BBC’s “World at War” documentary series is just ignorant.

  • chipOwood

    Totally biased! Jurassic Park and Blair Witch Project didn’t make the cut. I do agree with the top two, but there are holes all in this list.

  • rubba

    Wow POV fans. Great list but no “Senna” in the top 100? He’s only the most beloved athlete in the world’s no. 2 sport.

  • John

    It was an interesting list. I can’t say it would my list but then again I didn’t vote for these documentaries.

  • Richard W. Honoski


  • Anonymous

    I bookmarked this page so I can watch the docs recommended by the commenters!!! Thanks!!!

  • Clint

    I’m fine with this being spread about several pages, but how is Dear Zachary not at the top?!

  • JTA

    Salesman was #20? are you kidding me?
    Should be in the top 5

  • Jules

    Wow, where are all of Ken Burns’ and Ric Burns’ films? I see Civil War, but where is Jazz, Baseball, NYC, The West, Brooklyn Bridge? Documentary film now has it’s own sub-genres within it, there are the true doc pieces that the Burns’ Brothers put out, then there are the opinion documentaries which are more the Michael Moore style. (Kind of how news has changed too, there isn’t much straight news on tv anymore, the talking heads on cable are just opinions and often inaccurate, ie rachael maddow, bill o’reilly, and people think they are the real news instead of spewed biased opinions. So I guess what I am saying is take the list with a grain of salt. Grey Gardens at the top tho? What? Seriously? I have seen a good amount of these films and some bored the heck out of me and some really tugged at me emotionally and sensibly (Jesus Camp scared the crap out of me)
    Anyway, I don’t think this is an all encompassing list. We should just all make our own top 25 lists and be done with it. (my list would include some of these, but also just about any Burns’ film and Forks Over Knives)

  • SLL

    I would love a gift set for a holiday gift. Can they only be bought individually?

  • james

    wow…somebody needs to watch CBC’s The Passionate Eye……

  • meme

    Eye on the prize is too far down. Insulting

  • Joel

    Missing IMO: American Movie, Queen of Versailles, Camp Jesus

  • Luke McGuire

    American Movie is not a documentary.

    • Luke McGuire

      its in doc format but it is a comedy, a mockumentary as they say. and where’s this is spinal tap?

      • Micah Joseph Loving

        what does it matter if it is comedy based? a mockumentary is when its all actors pretending to be in a documentary, i dont think you understand what a mockumentary is

    • Micah Joseph Loving

      lol whut?

  • Danica

    I agree, spreading these out is annoying…nope, not gonna bother.

  • Celeste Dani Campbell

    I’m surprised “Being Elmo” didn’t make the list…

  • jrlexjr

    Best Boy?? Probably my favorite. Wasn’t That a Time? Possibly best music documentary.

    • jennywren1420

      Oh, yes, and “Being Elmo, too!

  • Abby Grace

    I hate guns! But Bowling for Columbine was propaganda not fact. Same is said for POV.

  • Noel E. PARMENTEL Jr

    to POV re: “The (your) 25 ‘Greatest’ Documentaries of All Time”.
    your top 25 list held three places for the likes of Michael Moore ,
    couldn’t help noticing there was no sign of Robert Flaherty;Ricky
    Leacock or D.A. Pennebaker. Ho Ho. Me no get Western joke.
    s/ Noel E. PARMENTEL Jr / NoelJr@OptOnline.Net / 12-14-12

  • sarafenix

    Genghis Blues — Mongolian Throat singing documentary…excellent!

  • Lefty

    Where is Young at Heart?

  • tppatriot

    I don’t know what I love the most, the fact that people are to stupid to see the the ‘see all these on one page’ link. Or the fact that they’re complaining of the content of the list when it’s stated that: “We asked fans of POV to help us find the “greatest” documentaries of all time, and this is what we found…”

    Ignorance of people online is astounding, someone should make a documentary about it.

  • Will McLane

    I must speak for “The World at War”, created by Jeremy Isaacs, produced by Thames Television, and originally broadcast by ITV in the UK in 1973-1974. It is a masterpiece and should be in the Top 5, if not number one. I daresay it will be remembered centuries from now, which cannot be said about any but a few of the others in this Top 100.

    • Andy Harris

      I’d put it in the top 5 just for the haunting theme music and Olivier’s narration. It cannot be made now because virtually everyone who was interviewed has now passed away.

  • Micah Joseph Loving

    a joke of a list. they just crammed in a bunch of semi popular modern docs to make 100. no hands on a hard body says it all.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t consider Michael Moore’s movies as documentaries anymore. He fabricates too much. He himself says they’re not even documentaries.

  • Niklas Olsson

    “Vernon, Florida” (1981) by Errol Morris, “For All Mankind” (1989) by Al Reinert, “Triangle of Death” (1990) by Jerzy Sladkowski and should have made this list.

  • Maria

    The one doc from this year that needs to join this list is THE ACT OF KILLING, amazing!

  • Karelle McCabe Downen

    I definitely agree with Grey Gardens as #1…loved it, watched it many times.

  • jscott07

    Wow you have what 3 michael moore films, a film about a guy eating McDonalds for a month, and one about a dysfunctional family, yet not one Ken Burns or George C. Stoney documentaries. I don’t find that this list is valid. It appears to be created by those who really have no idea what makes a documentary great. This list is rather embarrassing and offensive and hopefully those who created it will have their intellect mature over time. Right now the logic is frankly, immature. Sad.

    • Matt Wood

      here’s to “maturing intellect” and the forbearance to suffer the “offense” of a list someone posted on the internet with grace. we all have room to grow I suppose.

  • Diane Reaves

    Just one Ken Burns on there – very surprised.

  • Docusnob

    A lot of these were made in the last decade. Some bias towards NYC dudes directors, I think? Geeshh…

  • CompleteList
  • PeachyBreyer

    Known fake? I think the extreme weather conditions in the years since AIT was released only prove the film’s concept. It was freezing & snowing today… in L.A. This is the first year in all recorded weather history that Anchorage, Alaska’s temps did NOT go below zero. Polar glaciers are receding faster than expected. And that’s just the news from this week. Climate change is all too real & fossil fuels HAVE to go if we are to pull ourselves out of very likely destruction, says the scientific community.

  • PeachyBreyer

    You mean like FOX News?

  • rgray222

    No I really do mean like Moore! These are his words, he openly claims that his ‘films’ are politically slanted and motivated. Therefore they are not completely honest. He also openly admits he is part of the 1% who is says is a big part of the problem in America.

    Now, we do know one thing, if someone makes a comment like your about Fox then they have been influenced by the mainstream media. The mainstream media tells people like you what to think, what to protest, when to complain and even what networks to watch. The mainstream media is no longer a source for news, they are a source for slanted politics, unreliable news and a source for people that are too lazy to think for themselves!