Stanley Nelson

INDEPENDENT LENS
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges & Universities

 

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played over the course of 150 years in American history, culture, and identity. The film reveals the rich history of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of injustice.

 

The latest film from director Stanley Nelson (Black Panthers, Freedom Riders) and co-director/co-producer Marco Williams, America’s foremost film chronicler of the African-American experience, Tell Them We Are Rising brings to life the powerful story of the rise, influence, and evolution of HBCUs.

 

Morgan State University graduates
Graduates of Morgan State University in Maryland. Photo: Morgan State University

 

A haven for Black intellectuals, artists, and revolutionaries — and a path of promise toward the American dream — HBCUs have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field while remaining unapologetically Black for more than 150 years. These institutions have nurtured some of the most influential Americans of our time, from Booker T. Washington to Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois to Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison to Oprah Winfrey, Alice Walker to Spike Lee to Common.

 

In addition to the broadcast, Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities is the centerpiece of a yearlong multi-platform effort called HBCU Rising. Featuring national partnerships (including The Black College Fund, Color of Change, Akila Worksongs, Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., United Negro College Fund, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement), exclusive events, StoryCorps audio stories, video shorts, an HBCU campus tour and a crowdsourced HBCU Digital Yearbook, HBCU Rising will examine and celebrate the legacy of HBCUs. For more information, visit HBCURising.com.

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

 

This is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and dozens of others, the film is a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.