Elevating Black Her-Stories Year-Round
by Leslie Fields-Cruz
It’s women’s history month! For Black and other women of color it’s an extra month, another 31 days, to further highlight our her-stories and accomplishments. For this edition of the Dispatch, BPM celebrates Black women makers who are releasing films on PBS this month.
Short films by Christine Turner (J’Nai Bridges Unamplified) and Dilsey Davis (Rissie Palmer: Still Here) will premiere on American Masters, March 24; and production team Hazel Gurland-Pooler and Nazanet Habtezghi will celebrate the broadcast premiere of their film (Storming Caesars Palace) on Independent Lens, March 27. BPM also is pleased to shine a spotlight on another of Turner’s shorts, Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business, which will stream on our YouTube channel starting March 20 as part of our new AfroPoP Digital Shorts series.
Much like the fight to have BIPOC people in decision-making positions on film projects, it’s as important to have BIPOC women in decision-making positions on stories about BIPOC women. Check out the list below. All of these BPM films were produced and/or directed by women of color. I look at the list and I know it should be at least 10 times its size. There are numerous untold stories about women of color, and, as history has shown, it will most likely be a woman to bring those untold stories to light.
Black Public Media is proud to be supporters of Christine, Dilsey, Hazel, and Nazanet. I encourage you to watch their films when they are released. I also urge you to watch these other films, which initially premiered on public television:
- Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed
- Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock
- How It Feels to Be Free
- Fannie Lou Hamer’s America
- Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart
- Mama Gloria
- Marian Anderson: The Whole World In Her Hands
- Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
- Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
- Through the Night
For those of you living in the NYC metro area, join me and other members of New York Women in Film & Television at the MUSE Awards on Tues., March 28, to celebrate the accomplishments of all women in the industry.
Finally, registration for PitchBLACK Forum & Awards opens this week! Visit our website for details. Attend in-person or virtually, but don’t forget to register.