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For written assignment #2 students will do either a short paper, film analysis, or other written assignment. Make sure you read any attachments below. These will help clarify the assignment for you. Basic instructions for formatting a short paper are below.
Please ask your instructor for an alternate assignment if deployment prevents viewing of films.


Documentary Film Analysis Worksheet

History 222 – African American History Since 1877



  • You will find the list of films you can choose from  in the assignment section of the course.
  • Go to the list and pick your film. You must view the entire film. If you can’t access films because of deployment, geographic location, or other reasons, please let your instructor know so they can give you an alternate assignment.
  • Please type you answers into this sheet. You must submit the worksheet two ways: 1) upload the worksheet as a Word document 2) cut and paste your answers into the student response box for the assignment.
  • You must answer in complete sentences, using a short answer/paragraph format.  And add the reference of the film you will be working with…citations and references still count on this assignment.



  1. What is the title of the film you picked?
  2. Why did you pick this film over the others offered?
  3. What is/are the central message(s) of this documentary/fictional film?  Be specific.  Use examples from the film to support your choice.
  4. Consider the effectiveness of the film for this history class.  What are its strengths and weaknesses of this film in documenting history?
  5. How do you think the filmmakers want the audience to respond? Is there a social justice message? If so, what is it?
  6. Did the documentary leave you with any unanswered questions? If so, what were they?
  7. How did this film change any misconceptions or stereotypes you had about the subject matter? If so, what were they?
  8. What is the most important thing you learned from watching the film?
  9. Why is this film important to understanding contemporary African American History?


A Short Paper Assignment allows you, early in the course, to demonstrate your research skills to your instructor and to receive feedback that will benefit you when you write your research paper. With this assignment, you will learn how to do proper and adequate research and write a short paper and prepare you for writing the research paper.

 The Writing assignment 2 is simple…watch one of the films on the list and answer each question in paragraph format, citing the movie when you write something specific to answer the question.  You use the format your degree mandates. Do not forget to have a bibliography and also do not forget to answer all the questions…you should have three pages by the time you are done…meaning your answers need to be at college level to gain full credit.

This short paper is at least three double-spaced pages of text (Times New Roman, font size 12) and you must consult a the video source. Bibliographies and citations will be in your designated major’s mandated style.

The short paper needs to be turned in through the assignment section for grading. If you use any of the information from your sources word-for-word, you must cite the source by using endnotes or footnotes. If you read the information and write it in your own words and it is not common knowledge, then you must cite the source because you are paraphrasing someone’s information.

The short paper must include a cover page with your name, course number and course title, instructor’s name, and date. You must also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. While composing your paper, use proper English. Do not use abbreviations, contractions, passive voice, or first/ second person (I, you, we, our, etc). Before submitting your paper, check your grammar and use spell check. Remember, the way you talk is not the way you write a paper. Please label your paper as follows: lastnamefirstnameHIST222ShortPaper.



If you are having any issues with this assignment or live in an area (such as my military students stationed overseas) who can not access the video sites, please contact me right away to receive an alternative paper assignment.


Also some of the videos on the assignment can be accessed at the HIST 222 playlist on Youtube.

connect to this playlist at


RIGHT CLICK on the titles to open the films
A Class Divided: This is one of the most requested programs in FRONTLINE’s history. It is about an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the story of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their lives. From
America Beyond the Color LineThe evolution of African American society has split into two distinct communities, according to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – the privileged and the disenfranchised. Viewed through the lens of four intrinsic elements of the African American experience – Black Hollywood, The Black Elite, The Ghetto, and The New South – gates examines the legacy of the Civil Rights movement since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from
American in the 20th Century: The Civil Rights Movement Video overview of the civil rights movement
 Black Panther Party: What We Want, What We Believe: View the three clips provided in the playlist. These films discuss the history of the Black Panther Party

Dark Girls A Look At Colorism and Internalized Racism In The Black Community!!Full Documentary  Documentary on internal COLORISM in the Black community.

The FBI’s War on Black America: Through a secret program called the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), there was a concerted effort to subvert the will of the people to avoid the rise “of a black Messiah” that would mobilize the African-American community into a meaningful political force.
This documentary establishes historical perspective on the measures initiated by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI which aimed to discredit black political figures and forces of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Combining declassified documents, interviews, rare footage and exhaustive research, this film investigates the government’s role in the assassinations of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, and Martin Luther King Jr. Were the murders the result of this concerted effort to avoid “a black Messiah”?” description taken from
Four Little GirlsThis film recounts the people and events leading up to the one of the most despicable hate-crimes during the height of the civil-rights movement, the bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In that attack, four little African-American girls lost their lives and a nation was simultaneously revolted, angered and galvanized to push the fight for equality and justice​plotsummary
Freedom Riders The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South from
July ‘64 JULY ’64 tells the story of a historic three-day race riot that erupted in two African American neighborhoods in the northern, mid-sized city of Rochester, New York. On the night of July 24, 1964, frustration and resentment brought on by institutional racism, overcrowding, lack of job opportunity and police dog attacks exploded in racial violence that brought Rochester to its knees. Directed by Carvin Eison and produced by Chris Christopher, JULY ’64 combines historic archival footage, news reports and interviews with witnesses and participants to dig deeply into the causes and effects of the historic disturbance. From
Malcolm X: Make It Plain At a time when black civil rights leaders preached harmony and integration, Malcolm preached a militant gospel of self-defense and nationalism that terrified many whites and disturbed, yet also inspired, black Americans. After his travels to Africa and Mecca, he returned with a deeper understanding of Islam and a new willingness to accept white allies. “The white man and the black man have to be able to sit down at the same table,” he said in his last year. “Then they can bring the issues that are under the rug out on top of the table and take an intelligent approach to getting the problem solved.” From
MLK: A Call to Consciousness The second episode of Tavis Smiley Reports examines Martin Luther King, Jr.’s stand against the Vietnam War and the influence of his legacy today. Tavis speaks with scholars and friends of King, including Cornel West, Vincent Harding and Susannah Heschel. From

Who Is Black In America?  A look at the multiracial individual and acceptance in the African American community.

Eyes on the Prize Documentary
(If you pick one of these films- can not use the same one you used for your forum assignment in WEEK 5)
For more information about the film you can here. However, you can only watch the film by right clicking on the blue titles below and opening the hyperlinks. All film summaries below were taken directly from
2.      Eyes on the Prize: Episode 2 | 55 minutes
Episode 2 of this six-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the obstacles posed by local law and how it affected students. Covers the Little Rock Nine and James Meredith.
Watch Film
3.      Eyes on the Prize: Episode 3 | 55 minutes
Episode 3 of this six-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at students taking on leadership roles and organizing ‘sit-ins’. Looks at Freedom Riders and their attempts to desegregate buses.
Watch Film
4.      Eyes on the Prize: Episode 4 | 55 minutes
Episode 4 of this six-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the varying success of mass movements and the influence of Martin Luther King.
Watch Film
5.      Eyes on the Prize: Episode 5 | 55 minutes
Episode 5 of this six-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the murder of 3 activists in Mississippi and the challenge on the Mississippi delegation at the Democratic Convention.
Watch Film
6.      Eyes on the Prize: Episode 6 | 55 minutes
Episode 6 of this six-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the march to Selma.
Watch Film
7.      Flying the Flag | 50 minutes Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 1 | 48 minutes
Episode 1 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the rise of Malcolm X and the ‘call for power’
Watch Film
8.      Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 3 | 48 minutes
Episode 3 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the rise of Black Power, the election of Carl Stokes and the Black Panther Party.
Watch Film
9.      Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 4 | 48 minutes
Episode 4 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at Martin Luther’s King’s efforts in the years preceding his death and the impact of his assassination on the civil rights movement.
Watch Film
10. Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 5 | 46 minutes
Episode 5 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the influence of Muhammad Ali.
Watch Film
11. Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 6 | 46 minutes
Episode 6 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at police violence and the death of two Black Panther Leaders.
Watch Film
12. Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 7 | 46 minutes
Episode 7 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the effects of the anti-discrimination legal rights with some whites challenging them and blacks striving to show they can work.
Watch Film
13. Eyes on the Prize II: Episode 8 | 46 minutes
Episode 8 of this eight-part series on the American Civil Rights Movement. Looks at the black community in Miami where civil strife is high and also the black community in Chicago where Harold Washington is elected as mayor, the first black mayor.
Watch Film

Supporting Materials

  •  Film Analysis Worksheet.doc (32 KB)
  •  GenEdLowerLevelGradingRubric.docx (28 KB)

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