African American Short Films

African American Short Films

Yesterday I was flipping through channels on our over-the-air TV, and came upon an hour-long special of African American Short Films on one of our local channels. Unfortunately, I only caught the last short story of the hour. It was about ten minutes long, and featured a black WWII soldier walking into a little diner, and his encounter with a white couple who was running the restaurant. It was short but thought-provoking. It was an excellent film, and I was impressed by both the picture quality and the plot.

Today I checked to see if any of these films are available online. Yes, they are! The films are produced by an independent company called Badami Productions. Their motto is: “Educating Through Entertainment”. You can go to their website and see some of the videos: http://www.badamitv.com/. They also have a facebook page you can check out:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/AfricanAmericanShortFilms/about/?ref=page_internal.

If you are looking for some creative short films exploring issues important to the African American community, watch one or two of these films (they average 10 minutes each). See the world from someone else’s point of view; it’ll give you something to ponder.

 

 

The Snowy Day – by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)

The Snowy Day

Looking for a simple, happy story to read aloud to the preschooler in your life? This is the perfect winter book! A little boy – Peter – wakes up to find that snow has fallen overnight. He goes outside to play, and does everything I remember doing in fresh snow as a child.

What I love most about this short story is the joy and wonder that the little boy feels as he experiences God’s great snow. The illustrations are simple but convey the story well. Mr. Keats was one of the first children’s authors to publish books that portrayed black children. Back in 1962, this was very rare. His books also tended to be set in multi-cultural, urban settings, showing neighborhoods that were familiar to many young children. “The Snowy Day” won the Caldecott Medal for children’s literature in 1963.

Mr. Keats would go on to write more children’s books, like Whistle For Willie, Peter’s Chair, A Letter To Amy, and Pet Show. These stories have been enjoyed by children (and adults) for several generations, and will continue to be read for many more years.