Black History Month

In celebration of Black history, heritage, and culture, enjoy Santa Ana Public Library’s collection of books, movies, and e-resources. 

Oral History
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Alberta Christy

Alberta Christy became the first African-American Councilmember of the City of Santa Ana in 1998. She served as Chairwoman to Com-Link, a non-partisan forum for the exchange of ideas and information between neighborhood organizations and community leaders. Christy also established the City of Santa Ana’s Youth Commission to develop leadership among high school and middle school students selected and mentored by City Councilmembers with the goal of fostering advocacy for the needs of youth, building awareness for youth programs, and networking to build a strong foundation of solidarity across diverse coalitions in the community.

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Dr. Patricia Adelekan (PhD)

Dr. Patricia Adelekan was born in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Adelekan earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and later earned a Masters from San Francisco State University and Ph.D. from the University of Ibadan Nigeria. In addition to her academic background, Dr. Adelekan is a Civil Rights leader and pioneer. Dr. Adelekan is a fifty-year veteran in education and has distinguished herself as a world renown international multi-lingual professor, textbook writer, researcher, curriculum designer, and humanitarian. 

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Samuel J. Vance

Samuel Justiss Vance is the son of Dr. Valarie Omega Justiss Vance, a prolific and influential African American academic. Born in Mt. Pleasant, Texas in 1913, she would go on to attend several elite institutions, among them Howard University, the University of Vienna, the University of Chicago, the University of Toledo, and other premiere institutions throughout her expansive career. Vance contributed the Social Work provisions included in the War on Poverty, produced the first Black radio show, Americans All in Washington D.C., and became the psychological consultant for the Head Start program to name but a few of her illustrious achievements. She organized with prominent African American leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, and Ralph Bunch, the first African American to serve in a presidential cabinet. Her husband was also an accomplished professional in the field of law, but was denied the ability to represent Caucasian clients due to discrimination that prevented him from receiving a passing score on the Bar Exam despite having the requisite legal knowledge.

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Harlen “Lamb” Lambert

In 1966, Harlen Lambert broke the color barrier and became the first African American police officer hired Orange County when he was hired by the Santa Ana Police Department. Lambert is an entrepreneur, a world renowned K-9 trainer, radio and television personality, and published author. He published his memoir in 2020 : Badge of Color, Breaking the Silence: a Documented Memoir, Book One  

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Harriet Tyler

Harriet Tyler spent seven decades working to preserve the history of African-Americans in Orange County. Tyler’s contributions are not only recognized at the city and county levels with honors, but in the state as well. Tyler’s personal collections are preserved at the Orange County Heritage Museum. Tyler established senior programs and helped provide scholarships to underprivileged youth throughout the county.  

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Dorothy Mulkey

Dorothy J. Mulkey went down in history when her legal battle against housing discrimination ascended to the Supreme Court in the famous case of Reitman v. Mulkey. Raised in a small coal mining community in Earlington, Kentucky, Mulkey served in the Navy where she would later be deployed to California and find residence in the City of Santa Ana alongside her husband. The historic Supreme Court case set the legal precedent of barring invidious housing discrimination and striking down the state constitutional amendment purporting to authorize landlord freedom.

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Books for Adults
Truths We Hold

The Truths We Hold

by Harris, Kamala D. 

Daughter of an economist from Jamaica and a cancer researcher from India who met as civil rights activists at Berkeley, Vice President Kamala Harris uses her life story to argue for a new way of treating our problems, describing the data-driven, community-based approach she took as district attorney of San Francisco and subsequently chief law enforcement officer of the state. 


Truths We Hold

A Promised Land

by Obama, Barack

Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency - a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.


Truths We Hold

She Came to Slay

by Dunbar, Erica Armstrong

In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history--Harriet Tubman--a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today. 


Truths We Hold

An Easy Burden

by Young, Andrew

"The civil rights movement and the generations of men and women who lived and died to redeem the soul of America changed this country and the world forever. An Easy Burden is a masterful first-person account of the brave and the foolhardy, the weak and the strong, the blind and the visionary, who fought on both sides of that struggle."


Truths We Hold

I Am These Truths

by Hostin, Sunny

The Emmy Award winning legal journalist and co-host of The View Sunny Hostin chronicles her journey from growing up in a South Bronx housing project to becoming an assistant U.S. attorney and journalist in this powerful memoir that offers an intimate and unique look at identity, intolerance, and injustice.


Truths We Hold

Driving While Black : African American Rravel and the Road to Civil Rights

by Sorin, Gretchen Sullivan

The basis of a major PBS documentary by Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns (first airing: October 13, 2020 at 9PM ET), this revelatory history shows how the automobile fundamentally changed African American life.


Truths We Hold

Five Days : the Fiery Reckoning of an American City

by Moore, Wes

"When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an 'illegal knife' in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated 'roughly' as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma he would never recover from. In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like a final straw--it led to a week of protests and then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising that set the entire city on edge, and caught the nation's attention.


Truths We Hold

Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols, and Hope

by Gillepsie, Andra

Did African Americans benefit from the election of Barack Obama? This book explores Obama's successes and failures on race policies by comparing his record to those of previous presidents, and explains why black support of Obama remained strong throughout his presidency.


Truths We Hold

Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change

by Abrams, Stacey

House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly who's now running for Georgia governor, Abrams won national acclaim for helping register voters of color in her state and getting business to recruit young people of color. Here, she shows readers from any marginalized population how to become their own advocates.


Truths We Hold

My Life, My Love, My Legacy

by King, Coretta Scott

At the end of her life, King disclosed her full story to a close friend, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, an ordained minister and journalist who was on USA Today's founding editorial team. The narrative emphasizes King's early scholarly endeavors and feminist beliefs and shows how she challenged the era's all-male African American leadership after her husband's death. Book on CD


Truths We Hold

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned

by Mosley, Walter

In each of the linked stories that comprise this richly brooding work, Socrates, like his namesake, explores philosophical questions of morality in a world beset with crime, poverty, and racism.


Truths We Hold

A Lesson Before Dying

by Gaines, Ernest J.

In the 1940s in rural Louisiana, an uneducated African American man is sentenced to die for a crime he was incapable of committing. eAudiobook | Movie (DVD)


Truths We Hold

Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems

by Giovanni, Nikki

From Black Feeling, Black Talk and Black Judgment in the 1960s to Bicycles in 2010, Giovanni’s poetry has influenced literary figures from James Baldwin to Blackalicious, and touched millions of readers worldwide. In Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, Giovanni turns her gaze toward the state of the world around her, and offers a daring, resonant look inside her own self as well.


Truths We Hold

The Complete Poetry

by Angelou, Maya

Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelou gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. Now the beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer's remarkable life.

 

Books for Teens
Truths We Hold

The Hate U Give

by Thomas, Angie 

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

On the Come Up

by Thomas, Angie

The highly anticipated second novel by Angie Thomas, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning THE HATE U GIVE, is about a teen girl whose dreams of a career in rap music turn into a desperate necessity when her family home burns down. This is Empire for teens. eBook | Audio Except


Truths We Hold

Children of Blood and Bone

by Adeyemi, Tomi

Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her #1 New York Times bestselling West African-inspired young adult fantasy debut. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Children of Virtue and Vengeance

by Adeyemi, Tomi

Rich with magic and danger, Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi's New York Times bestselling and award winning West African-inspired fantasy, Children of Blood and Bone. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Dread Nation: Rise Up [electronic resource]

by Ireland, Justina

A story of the undead like you've never read before, Justina Ireland's Dread Nation is a fresh, stunning, and powerful meditation on race in America wrapped in an alternate-history adventure where Confederate and Union soldiers rise from the dead at the end of the Civil War. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Dear Martin

by Stone, Nic

"Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend--but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers.” Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

The Belles

by Clayton, Dhonielle

In a world where Beauty is a commodity only a few control, one Belle will learn the dark secrets behind her powers, and rise up to change the world. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Opposite of Always [electronic resource]

by Reynolds, Justin A.

After falling for Kate, her unexpected death sends Jack back in time to the moment they first met, but he soon learns that his actions have consequences when someone else close to him dies. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America

Edited by Zoboi, Ibi

A collection of short stories explore what it is like to be young and black, centering on the experiences of black teenagers and emphasizing that one person's experiences, reality, and personal identity are different than someone else. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

American Street

by Zoboi, Ibi Aanu

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie -- a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola's mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit's west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Push: A Novel

by Sapphire

Relentless, remorseless, and inspirational, this "horrific, hope-filled story" ("Newsday") is certain to haunt a generation of readers. Precious Jones, 16 years old and pregnant by her father with her second child, meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption. Author Interview


Truths We Hold

The kid

by Sapphire

It is the story of Precious's son, Abdul, opening on the day of his mother's funeral. This book brings us deep into the interior life of Abdul Jones, son of Sapphire's unforgettable heroine, Precious. It is a story of survival and awakening, and of one young man's remarkable strength.


Truths We Hold

The Crossover

by Alexander, Kwame

"A bolt of lightning on my kicks ... The court is sizzling. My sweat is drizzling. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," raps basketball phenom Josh Bell. Thanks to his dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court, with crossovers that make even the toughest ballers cry. In this heartfelt novel, basketball and brotherhood intertwine to show Josh and Jordan that life doesn't come with a playbook and, sometimes, it's not about winning. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Booked

by Alexander, Kwame

"Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Hurston, Zora Neale

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

The Color Purple

by Walker, Alice

This is the story of two sisters--one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South--who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Things Fall Apart [electronic resource]

by Achebe, Chinua

It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political and religious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

The Help

by Stockett, Kathryn

In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Between the World and Me

by Coates, Ta-Nehisi

A #1 New York Times Bestseller A National Book Award Finalist A profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a black father for his son, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

by Coates, Ta-Nehisi

Coates follows up his National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me with essays that sweep through the Obama era. Included are annotated versions of much-discussed pieces he wrote for the Atlantic, including "Fear of a Black President"; two new essays that reassess the Obama era and consider what's to come; and a think piece based on Coates's interviews with President Obama during his final year in office. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

by Obama, Barack

Dreams From My Father is a masterpiece: a refreshing, revealing portrait of a young man asking the big questions about identity and belonging. The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama recounts an emotional odyssey. He tells the stories of his parents' lives and finally reconciles his divided inheritance.


Truths We Hold

Hidden Figures : The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space

by Lee Shetterly, Margot

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Go Tell It on the Mountain

by Baldwin, James

Moving through time from the rural South to the northern ghetto, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen–year–old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Audio Excerpt


Comic Books and Graphic Novels
Truths We Hold

Miles Morales [electronic resource]

by Reynolds, Jason

Brooklyn Visions Academy student Miles Morales may not always want to be a super hero, but he must come to terms with his identity--and deal with a villainous teacher--as the new Spider Man. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

March. Book One

by Lewis, John

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Meet-the-Author


Truths We Hold

March. Book Two[electronic resource]

by Lewis, John

After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence -- but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the Deep South, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the young activists of the movement struggle with internal conflicts as well. Meet-the-Author


Truths We Hold

March. Book Three[electronic resource]

by Lewis, John

Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world. Meet-the-Author


Truths We Hold

Class Act

by Craft, Jerry

Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying you have to work twice as hard to be just as good. His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn't afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted? To make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Muhammad Ali: The Greatest of All Time!

by Buckley, James

"This graphic novel follows the life of Muhammad Ali as he became a world heavyweight boxing champion, activist, and philanthropist.”


Truths We Hold

I See the Promised Land

by Flowers, Arthur

African American writer, griot and blues singer Arthur Flowers and Indian scroll painter Manu Chitrakar combine their very distinctive storytelling traditions in an extraordinary jam session, creating this stunning graphic narrative-style biography of Martin Luther King Jr.


Truths We Hold

Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love

by McKissack, Pat

Born into slavery in 1854, Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick, grew up to become the most famous African-American cowboy in the Old West. A contemporary and acquaintance of Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid, Nat was widely known as an expert roper and driver, a crack shot, and a real Wild West character.


Truths We Hold

Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography

by Helfer, Andrew J.

With the thoroughly researched and passionately drawn "Malcolm X," Andrew Helfer and award-winning artist Randy DuBurke capture Malcolm Little's extraordinary transformation from a black youth beaten down by Jim Crow America into Malcolm X, the charismatic, controversial, and doomed national spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Audio Excerpt


Books for Kids
Truths We Hold

Magnificent Homespun Brown : A Celebration

by Doyon, Samara Cole

Told by a succession of exuberant young narrators, Magnificent Homespun Brown is a story - a song, a poem, a celebration - about feeling at home in one's own beloved skin. Samara Cole Doyon's joyful book contains multitudes. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Crown : An Ode to the Fresh Cut

by Barnes, Derrick D

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber's chair -- a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Kamala and Maya's Big Idea

by Harris, Meena

A beautiful, empowering picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change, inspired by a true story from the childhood of the author's aunt, Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer and policy expert Maya Harris. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Before the Ever After [electronic resource]

by Woodson, Jacqueline

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's stirring novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

King and the Dragonflies

by Callender, Kacen

A beautiful, empowering picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change, inspired by a true story from the childhood of the author's aunt, Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer and policy expert Maya Harris. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

Carter Reads the Newspaper

by Hopkinson, Deborah

"Carter G. Woodson didn't just read history. He changed it." As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people.


Truths We Hold

Thurgood Marshall

by Kanefield, Teri

The story of the brilliant lawyer who successfully argued the case that ended legal racial segregation in America. Thurgood Marshall explores his life, from his childhood in Baltimore to his trailblazing career as a civil rights lawyer, and finally his years as a United States Supreme Court justice.


Truths We Hold

Like A Bird : The Art of the American Slave Song

by Grady, Cynthia

Like a Bird brings together text, music, and illustrations by Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator Michele Wood to convey the rich meaning behind thirteen of these powerful songs.


Truths We Hold

A Ride to Remember : A Merry-go-round and Its Civil Rights Story

by Langley, Sharon

When Sharon Langley was born in the early 1960s, many amusement parks were segregated, and African-American families were not allowed entry. This book reveals how in the summer of 1963, due to demonstrations and public protests, the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Maryland became desegregated and opened to all for the first time. Audio Excerpt


Truths We Hold

The Little Rock Nine Stand Up for Their Rights

by Lucas, Eileen

Before 1957, whites and blacks had separate schools and ate at separate restaurants. But the U.S. Supreme Court ended the laws that kept people apart. Would nine kids have enough courage to be the first black students at an all-white high school?


En Español
Truths We Hold

Becoming : Mi Historia

by Obama, Michelle

Protagonista de una vida plena y exitosa, Michelle Obama se ha convertido en una de las mujeres cautivadoras de nuestra era. Como primera dama de los Estados Unidos de America, y primera afroamericana en desempeñar esa función, contribuyo a que la Casa Blanca alcanzara sus mayores cotas de apertura y pluralidad de la historia; es destacada defensora de las mujeres y las ni as en Estados Unidos y en el resto del mundo, introdujo cambios drásticos encaminados a promover una vida saludable y activa en las familias, y acompañada a su esposo cuando el atravesaba algunos de los momentos más desgarradores de su historia. eAudiobook | eBook


Truths We Hold

Yo Sé Por Qué Canta el Pájaro Enjaulado

by Angelou, Maya

This is a 1969 autobiography about the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.


Truths We Hold

Talentos Ocultos

by Lee, Shetterly, Margot

Esta es la verdadera historia, nunca antes contada, de las mujeres afroamericanas de la NASA expertas en matemáticas, que desempeñaron un papel crucial en el programa espacial de Estados Unidos, y cuyas contribuciones han permanecido anónimas... hasta ahora. eBook


Truths We Hold

¡Gracias, Omu!

by Mora, Oge

¡Todos en el vecindario sueñan con probar el delicioso guiso de Omu! Uno por uno, siguen sus narices hacia el delicioso aroma. Y uno por uno, Omu ofrece una porción de su comida. Pronto la olla está vacía. ¿Ha sido tan generosa que ya no le queda nada? Jumpstart tiempo de cuentos



Truths We Hold

Un Dia De Nieve

by Keats, Ezra Jack

Es un d a de nieve y Peter va a descubrirla. Sale abrigado a la calle para pasear entre montones de nieve apilada y para ver a los ni os grandes jugar a tirarse bolas gigantes. Descubre los surcos que dejan sus pies en la nieve espesa y lo divertido que resulta hacer ngeles de nieve.


DVDs for Free Check-Out

Rated G-PG

Truths We Hold

Home

When a misfit alien named Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) crash lands on Earth, he forms an unlikely friendship with Tip (voiced by Rihanna), an adventurous but untrusting girl. Together they form an odd couple friendship and embark on a global road trip while on the run from Oh's own alien species. Their wild trip and growing bond of friendship plays a vital role in intergalactic relations. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

The Princess and the Frog

New Orleans. Arrogant, carefree Prince Naveen and hardworking waitress Tiana cross paths. Prince Naveen is transformed into a frog by a conniving voodoo magician. Tiana follows suit when she decides to kiss the amphibian royalty. With the help of a trumpet-playing alligator, a Cajun firefly, and an old blind lady who lives in a boat in a tree, Naveen and Tiana must race to break the spell and fulfill their dreams. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Akeelah and the Bee

Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She is a smart girl, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah decides to participate in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

After a bite from a radioactive spider grants him superpowers, Brooklyn teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) becomes the one and only Spider-Man. When a gateway into the multiverse opens up, Miles soon realizes he isn't the only spider superhero out there, as he meets many different versions of himself pulled in from other universes, including the original Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld). Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

The Wiz Live!

This special live adaptation of The Wizard of Oz aired on NBC on December 3, 2015. This fresh take on the classic stars Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo and more in an R&B influenced reimagining, inspired by the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz.


Rated PG-13 and Up

Truths We Hold

The Hate U Give

A young black student (Amandla Stenberg) from a poor neighborhood who attends a prep school in an affluent area finds her uneasy life balance further disrupted when she witnesses her childhood friend being shot by a police officer. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Black Panther

Following the death of his father, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is crowned the king of Wakanda, a technologically advanced country in Africa that has hidden itself away from the rest of the world. T'Challa is charged with defending the nation in his guise as the costumed superhero known as Black Panther, but his reign is challenged by a Wakanda dissident named Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), who wants to sell the country's natural resources to fund an uprising. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Hidden Figures

Three female African-American mathematicians (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia L. Spencer, and Janelle Monae) provide crucial calculations for NASA's space race against the Soviets, all while dealing with the racist and sexist assumptions of their white co-workers. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Gemini Man

Will Smith plays a middle-aged assassin who is considering a career change when he is unexpectedly confronted with a younger clone of himself. The latter has a preternatural and potentially deadly ability to anticipate his thoughts and actions. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

42

Depicts the early career of Jackie Robinson as he became the first African American Major League Baseball player when he was signed to the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Afro Samurai

Afro is out on a mission to seek revenge for the wrongful death of his father. A warrior who travels a solitary path encountering a myriad of enemies, friends, and challenges beyond imagination. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Harriet

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, the movie tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Blackkklansman

In the midst of the 1970s civil rights movement, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first black detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department. He sets out to prove his worth by infiltrating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and convinces his Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) to go undercover as a white supremacist. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

Creed II

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family's past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what's worth fighting for, and discover that nothing's more important than family. Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

If Beale Street Could Talk

Teen sweethearts Fonny (Stephan James) and Tish (Kiki Layne) are ripped apart when Fonny is wrongly arrested for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman because of the machinations of a racist cop. While seeking justice for Fonny, a pregnant Tish relies on her Harlem community, including her sister (Teyonah Parris), mother Sharon (Regina King) and future mother-in-law (Aunjanue Ellis). Movie Trailer


Truths We Hold

The Color Purple

The heart-wrenching story of a young black girl in the early 20th century who's forced into a brutal marriage and separated from her sister. Movie Trailer


Free Movies and Documentaries on Kanopy

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Up From Slavery

Mill Creek Entertainment

Up From Slavery is a powerful, compelling and haunting 7-part documentary series that examines the history of slavery in America, from the arrival of the first African slaves through Nat Turner's Rebellion to the Civil War and beyond.


Truths We Hold

Legacy: The Powerful Voices of Three Generations of African American Women

Kino Lorber

An Oscar-nominated portrait of an African-American family that dramatically captures their successes and failures as they struggle to overcome the devastating effects of poverty, welfare, and community violence.


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Moonlight

Kino Lorber

Oscar-winner for Best Picture, MOONLIGHT is a moving and transcendent look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to adulthood, as a shy outsider dealing with difficult circumstances, is guided by support, empathy and love from the most unexpected places.


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The Fits

Oscilloscope Laboratories

While training at the gym, 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in danger as the group begins to suffer from fainting spells and other violent seizures.


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The Last Black Man in San Francisco

A24

Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind. As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, his hopes blind him to the reality of his situation.


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I Am Not Your Negro

Kino Lorber

An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism.


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Morris from America

A24

A heartwarming and crowd-pleasing coming-of-age comedy with a unique spin, MORRIS FROM AMERICA centers on Morris Gentry, a 13-year-old who has just relocated with his single father, Curtis (Craig Robinson) to Germany.


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Born in Flames

First Run Features

The movie that rocked the foundations of the early Indie film world, this provocative, thrilling and still-relevant classic is a comic fantasy of female rebellion set in America ten years after the Second American Revolution. When Adelaide Norris, the black radical founder of the Woman's Army, is mysteriously killed, a diverse coalition of women - across all lines of race, class, and sexual preference - emerges to blow the System apart. Featuring early cameos by Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Bogosian.


Truths We Hold

Saturday Church

Samuel Goldwyn Films

In this New York Times Critics' Pick, A 14 year old boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process.


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Daughters of the Dust

Cohen Film Collection

At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina - former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors' Yoruba traditions - struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots.


Storytime Videos on Kanopy

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Hair Love (short film)

by Cherry, Matthew A.

An Oscar-winning animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.


Truths We Hold

Martin's Big Words

by Rappaport, Doreen

Using quotes from some of his beloved speeches, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes to life in stunning collage art and vibrant watercolor paintings in this profound and important biography about beliefs and dreams and following one's heart. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his own words, will inspire and affect you, too.


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The Snowy Day

by Keats, Ezra Jack

A small boy's enchantment with a city's snowfall has him making snow angels and snowballs, sliding down snow mountains - and looking forward to going outside again.


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Amazing Grace

by Hoffman, Mary

Even though her classmates discourage Grace from trying out for Peter Pan in the school play because she is black and a girl, Grace wins the part and proves that she can be anything that she wants to be.


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The Other Side

by Woodson, Jacqueline

Clover always wondered why there was a fence that separated the black side of town from the white side. When a young white girl from the other side starts to sit on the fence her curiosity, and a friendship, develops.


Truths We Hold

This is the Rope

by Woodson, Jacqueline

The story of one family's journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer. She has no idea the rope will become part of her family's history.


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Show Way

by Woodson, Jacqueline

Quilt making has been passed down through eight generations of Soonie's family. Messages were carefully stitched into each quilt, called a Show Way, mapping the family's journey from slavery to the present day.


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Elizabeti's Doll

by Bodeen, S. A

When her new baby brother arrives, Elizabeti, a young Tanzanian girl, longs for a baby of her own to hold and bathe and kiss and burp. One day she finds the perfect baby - a rock she names Eva - just the right size for holding and bathing and kissing and burping.


Truths We Hold

He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, this adaptation of the beloved folk song creates a dazzling, intimate interpretation that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.


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Dem Bones

by Barner, Bob

A skeleton band supplies words and music to the well-known song based on the African-American spiritual.


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Whistle for Willie

by Keats, Ezra Jack

For Peter, learning to whistle means being able to call his dog, Willie, and being a bit closer to those two magic words: grown-up.