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The African American Experience

An AMERICAN EXPERIENCE collection featuring a selection of films documenting the African American Experience — along with articles, digital shorts and original features exploring America’s continued struggle with race, democracy and justice, and celebrating the contributions of Black Americans to the American story.

Watch Films

  • Freedom Riders poster image Freedom Riders
    Film

    Freedom Riders

    The powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.

  • The Murder of Emmett Till poster image The Murder of Emmett Till
    Film

    The Murder of Emmett Till

    In August 1955, a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till was murdered by two white men. His death helped mobilize the civil rights movement.

  • The Fight poster image The Fight
    Film

    The Fight

    On June 22, 1938, 70,000 fans crammed into Yankee Stadium to watch what some have called "the most important sporting event in history" — the rematch between African American heavyweight Joe Louis and his German opponent Max Schmeling.

Now Streaming

  • The Blinding of Isaac Woodard poster image The Blinding of Isaac Woodard
    Film

    The Blinding of Isaac Woodard

    In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind.

  • Voice of Freedom poster image Voice of Freedom
    Film

    Voice of Freedom

    Explore the life of singer Marian Anderson and her triumphant 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

  • Goin' Back To T-Town poster image Goin' Back To T-Town
    Film

    Goin' Back To T-Town

    Goin' Back to T-Town: Revisit a thriving Black community in Tulsa, which rebuilt after a 1921 racially-motivated massacre.

Original Shorts

PAST FORWARD Conversations

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    Clip

    Remembering the Tulsa Massacre

    Screenwriter Carmen Fields and historian Karlos K. Hill speak with historian Jessica Marie Johnson about the centennial of the Tulsa Massacre and the story of Greenwood’s resilience and resurgence.

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    Clip

    Athlete or Ambassador?

    Historian Amira Rose Davis and sports columnist William C. Rhoden speak with creator and host of The Humanity Archive Jermaine Fowler about the intersection of sports and politics in the Olympics.

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    The Power and Resilience of Black Women

    Opera singer Angela Brown and professor Kira Thurman speak with professor Jessica Marie Johnson about the excellence and power of Black women as they navigate and conquer traditionally white spaces and industries.

Articles