Madeline Anderson was the first African-American woman to executive-produce a nationally aired television series. Inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1993 for her outstanding contribution to the filed, Anderson is most well acclaimed for her short films Integration Report and I Am Somebody.
A cinematic snapshot of the civil rights movement across the United States in 1960, from Montgomery, Alabama, to Brooklyn, Integration Report 1 includes speeches from many leaders of the movement. I Am Somebody documents the 1969 strike of black hospital workers in Charleston, South Carolina, over the course of which more than a thousand strikers, students, and civil rights activists were jailed. All but twelve of the 400 strikers were women, and Anderson tells the story from a distinctly feminist point of view.
Rounding off this screening is British filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah’s And Still I Rise (1991). Onwurah is the first black British woman director to have a feature film theatrically released in UK cinemas. Her films are prescient explorations of oppression and sexuality. Inspired by a Dr. Maya Angelou poem, this film intercuts historical and media images with hard-hitting contemporary views of women of African heritage as they struggle to create a new and empowered perspective. Coupled with Anderson’s gift of inspecting arcs of injustice, this trio presents a unique and rigorous inquiry into the human condition.