On the set of SOUL! with Ellis Haizlip interviewing Melvin Van Peebles [Credit: Chester Higgins]
Beyond the Films

February 09, 2021

How SOUL! Helped Pave the Way for Black Cultural Programming

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade D. Adeniji Mr. SOUL! explores America’s first Black variety television show SOUL!, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and was steered by pioneering Black producer and host Ellis…...

Lynching scene in Within Our Gates (by Oscar Micheaux)
Beyond the Films

February 20, 2020

As American as the Blues: Lynching in Film and TV

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Ade Adeniji Always in Season explores the history of lynching through the mysterious 2014 death of Lennon Lacy while also looking at historical reenactments of lynching, prompting some to…...

Singer Billie Holiday
Beyond the Films

February 19, 2020

Billie Holiday’s Searing “Strange Fruit” Still Has the Power to Startle

Independent Lens in Beyond the Films

By Nick Dedina There are often false narratives we tell ourselves so that we can simplify, and beautify, the past and erase aspects of the present that we are uncomfortable…...

Black memorabilia figurines

January 30, 2019

The Challenge of Making a Film About Racist Relics

Craig Phillips in Interviews

Filmmaker and teacher Chico Colvard's first feature doc, Family Affair, premiered at Sundance and was the first film acquired by Oprah Winfrey for her cable channel, OWN. The searingly personal documentary explored…...

Archival family photo from the Digital Diaspora Family Roadsow

February 16, 2015

Black Family History Through a Lens

Craig Phillips in Uncategorized

A wonderful companion piece to Thomas Allen Harris's new film Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People is his Digital Diaspora Family Reunion project — a roadshow connecting communities and…...

February 13, 2015

Thomas Allen Harris Goes Through a Lens Darkly

Craig Phillips in

The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly: Black…...

February 12, 2015

Black History Month: From the Independent Lens Archives

Craig Phillips in Lists

Our programming aims to celebrate black history more than just during the month February, but Black History Month is certainly a great time to pause and reflect on African American…...

February 03, 2014

Four Films Streaming Online for Black History Month

Craig Phillips in

While PBS kicks off Black History Month in fine style tonight with the broadcast premiere of the ITVS-funded American Promise on POV [trailer], Independent Lens and PBS's Black Culture Connection have launched four…...

February 19, 2013

Get Your Dose of History: 8 Documentaries for Black History Month

Rebecca Huval in

[caption id="attachment_3260" align="aligncenter" width="501"] More Than a Month Filmmaker Shukree Tighman dressed as a Union soldier[/caption] The most fascinating chapters of America’s past, including our stories of tragedy, pride, creativity,…...

February 01, 2013

Celebrate Black History Month With Us!

Maria Goodavage in Uncategorized

It's February, and have we got some great ways to celebrate Black History Month! Enjoy these fascinating films and exciting educational resources all month long. Watch Spotlight on Civil Rights…...

February 15, 2012

Join Independent Lens and PBS NewsHour for a Social Screening of More Than a Month

Brooke Shelby Biggs in Uncategorized

The day after the PBS broadcast premiere of More Than a Month on Independent Lens, join us for a social screening of the film at 12PM PT / 3PM ET…...

More Than a Month filmmaker Shukree Tilghman

February 15, 2012

Shukree Tilghman Wants to End (the Way We Think About) Black History Month

Brooke Shelby Biggs in Interviews

Shukree Tilghman saw Morgan Freeman on 60 Minutes in 2006 say that he believed Black History Month shouldn't exist, because it was insulting to relegate an entire race's history to…...