Black Studies in Video

Black Studies in Video, the latest addition to Alexander Street Press’s award-winning black studies portfolio, brings together seminal documentaries, powerful interviews, and previously unavailable archival footage surveying the black experience. At completion, the collection will contain 500 hours of film covering African American history, politics, art and culture, family structure, gender relationships, and social and economic issues.

In partnership with California Newsreel, the database provides unique access to their African American Classics collection, and includes films covering history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations. Additionally, and exclusively from Alexander Street, Black Studies in Video features the SNCC Legacy Video Collection, a series of over fifty hours of formal addresses, panel discussions, and programs that took place at the 50th anniversary conference and reunion commemorating the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

The collection includes documentaries on leading artists, writers, musicians, playwrights, and performers, such as Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes, Huey P. Newton, Frantz Fanon, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Eldridge Cleaver, August Wilson, Bobby Seale, Ethel Waters, Amiri Baraka, and Robert F. Williams.

The database also draws from the Hatch-Billops Collection, a critically acclaimed archive of primary and secondary resource materials focused on black American art, drama, and literature. Additional content includes the SNCC archives, the NAACP archives, and archives from select Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The collection is further enhanced by content from key production partners, including:

  • Documentary Educational Resources 
  • Fanlight Productions
  • Landmark Media
  • Point du Jour International
  • Rediscovery Productions
  • Kino Lorber
  • First Run Features
  • Journeyman Pictures

Access points for research and discovery

Browse by people, themes, and topics. View videos by filmmaker, country of origin, production date, producer, and other features. More than 15 combinable search fields let you cross-search all video transcripts, liner notes, bibliographic data (including series, title, country of origin, publication date, narrator, production staff, and more), and many other indexed fields, including person discussed, year discussed, and all of the browse options listed above.


Functionality for scholarship and classroom use

  • The collection will feature Alexander Street’s newly enhanced video player that includes variable bit streaming up to 2.5 mbps, and expanded embedded video capability.
  • Teaching guides, field notes, and filmmaker biographies.
  • Synchronized, searchable transcripts run alongside each video.
  • Visual tables of contents let you quickly scan each film.
  • Permanent URLs let users cite and share video easily.
  • Rich playlist functionality lets users create, annotate, and organize clips and include links to relevant content.
  • Permissions for in-class, on-campus, and remote-access viewing are all included.

Publication details

Black Studies in Video is an online collection available to academic, public, and school libraries worldwide via subscription or onetime purchase of perpetual rights. No special setup or software is required—all you need is an Internet browser.