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OHIO Celebrates Juneteenth

Ohio University Libraries is pleased to present acquisitions made in honor of Ohio University's annual Juneteenth celebration.

Juneteenth in Film

In celebration of Juneteenth, we have chosen a number of films that capture the lives of iconic figures in Black America. University Libraries has purchased 8 titles, and all titles are available on DVD or via Streaming link and come with Public Performance Rights. We have purchased this collection in perpetuity, so you can watch them anytime! The 2023 collection examines the role of activism and how it is brought forth through various individuals and their careers.  

Juneteenth: Icons and Activism

dvd cover, picture of Fela, top half black and white, bottom half red.

Music is the Weapon: Fela Kuti

This film provides context for Alex Gibney’s award-winning film Finding Fela, the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's life, his music, and his social and political importance. He created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. 

cover with black and white picture sideview of Billie Holiday's face.


Billie Holiday had one of the greatest voices of all time. She was a woman of breathtaking talent and global popularity who was unafraid of stirring controversy. She started a notable rebellion singing “Strange Fruit,” which exposed the realities of Black life in America and earned her powerful enemies. 

dvd cover with color photo of Lumumba, and yellow lettering spelling Lumumba


Congo declared independence from Belgium in 1960, and 36-year-old, self-educated Lumumba became its first Prime Minister. Called "the politico of the bush" by journalists of the day, he became a lightning rod of Cold War politics as his vision of a united Africa gained him powerful enemies in Belgium and the U.S. Lumumba lasted just months in office before being brutally assassinated.

image of black and white photo collage of Martin Luther King photos and blue letterboxes with film info

King A Filmed Record

Constructed from a wealth of archival footage, KING: A FILMED RECORD...MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1955 to 1968, in his rise from regional activist to world-renowned leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Rare footage of King's speeches, protests, and arrests are interspersed with scenes of other high-profile supporters and opponents of the cause.

top half of image, Baldwins eyes, bottom of image, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

I Am Not Your Negro

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is an examination of racism in America through the lens of James Baldwin’s unfinished book, REMEMBER THIS HOUSE, intended as an account of the lives of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., each of whom James Baldwin personally knew.  Combining Baldwin’s manuscript with footage of depictions of African Americans throughout American history, the film uses Baldwins' words to illuminate the pervasiveness of American racism and the efforts to curtail it, from the Civil Rights Movement to #BlackLivesMatter. 

red background, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, with black line drawing of Ali.

Trials of Muhammad Ali

The Trials Of Muhammad Ali investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject's life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. 

black and white photo of Maya Angelou, under photo, Maya Angelou And Still I Rise

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Poet, storyteller, actress, dancer, and passionate activist Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Hers was a prolific life in which she inspired generations with lyrical modern African American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos that show her impact on the world. 

color image of Ornette Coleman playing saxophone, with title 'Ornette' above

Ornette: Made in America

Returning in 1983 to his home in Fort Worth, Texas, documentary footage and dramatic scenes recall legendary performer and composer Ornette Coleman's rise from oppressed youth to cultural pioneer. Featuring some of the first music-video-style footage of its time, director Shirley Clarke and producer Kathelin Hoffman employed innovative techniques to capture the extraordinary vision of the man behind the music.