PBS DISTRIBUTION TO RELEASE EMMY-AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARIAN STANLEY NELSON’S “TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES” ON DIGITAL HD, DVD AND BLU-RAY THIS FEBRUARY
PBS DISTRIBUTION TO RELEASE EMMY-AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARIAN STANLEY NELSON’S
“TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES”
ON DIGITAL HD, DVD AND BLU-RAY THIS FEBRUARY
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on February 20th from PBS Distribution
Arlington, Va. – January 23, 2018 – PBS Distribution has announced that they will be releasing “TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES“ on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. This latest documentary from Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Riders), America’s foremost film chronicler of the African American experience, is the powerful story of the rise, influence, and evolution of HBCUs come to life.
“TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on February 20, 2018. The program has a run time of 83 minutes. The DVD SRP is $24.99, and the Blu-ray SRP is $29.99. The program will also be available for digital download.
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.
A key driver of Black social, political and economic progress, HBCUs were also a place of unprecedented freedom for African American students and a refuge from the rampant racism that raged outside the campus walls. Created following the era when it was a crime in many states to teach African Americans to read, HBCUs sprang up following the end of the Civil War, particularly in the rural South. On these campuses were waged the intellectual battles that would determine the future of African American society, starting with the ideological differences between Booker T. Washington’s emphasis on technical trades and W.E.B. Du Bois’s more progressive vision of HBCUs as not just institutions for turning out labor for white businesses but places of intellectual rigor and societal transformation.
That ideology took root following WWI, when African American soldiers returned from the front expecting a more equitable piece of the American dream. Known as “The New Negro” movement, these new students wanted nothing less than the full rights of citizenship. More HBCUs were founded – and run by African American leaders unlike their predecessors. During the 1930s and 40s — what many consider the “Golden Age” of HBCUs — these institutions graduated doctors, lawyers, and professionals who created the first Black middle class.
The influence of HBCUs would continue to grow as Howard University Law School Dean Charles Hamilton Houston and graduate Thurgood Marshall fought the case that sounded the death knell for segregation with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954; six years later, it was four North Carolina A&T students who began the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in that led to the dismantling of segregation in public spaces.
“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.
About Firelight Media
Firelight was founded in 2000 by Emmy-winning, National Humanities medalist, and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow documentarian Stanley Nelson and award-winning writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith as an independent production company dedicated to harnessing the power of story-driven media as a platform for education and action. Best known for producing high-quality powerful productions for PBS and creating dynamic community engagement campaigns to ensure their reach and impact, Firelight is committed to making films about pivotal events, movements, and people in American history. Firelight has won numerous awards and enjoyed great critical acclaim, with nine films in the documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Past titles include Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till, A Place of Our Own, and Freedom Summer.
Firelight’s Documentary Lab is the largest program in the United States aimed specifically at developing the documentary projects and professional skills of emerging diverse documentary filmmakers. In 2015, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded Firelight with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, for their demonstrated creativity and impact in supporting the talents and careers of a diverse new generation of filmmakers.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 PM. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation: facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter @IndependentLens.
About PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.
PBS Distribution offers a broad range of high quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. PBS International offers factual content for broadcast, cable, and satellite services internationally. The PBS Distribution catalog includes films from Ken Burns, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming.
TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Street Date: February 20, 2018
Run Time: 83 minutes on 1 disc
SRP: DVD $24.99, Blu-ray $29.99
Format: DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Download