Whiteness History Month Project: Films

What's Race Got to Do With It?

Entire film available in DVD through PCC Library. 

Cheng, J., Sullivan, Belinda, Griffin-Destra, Jerlena, Stark, Dave, & California Newsreel. (2006). What's Race Got to Do with It? San Francisco, CA]: California Newsreel.

White Like Me

Racism: A History

This three-part BCC documentary series "reaches back across the centuries, shedding light on historical attitudes toward human differences." Available from the Films on Demand database.

The Color of Money: Colonialism and the Slave Trade 
(click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)
PCC Library also owns the DVD.

A Fatal Impact: Eugenics, Social Darwinism, and Genocide (click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)

A Savage Legacy: Apartheid, Jim Crow, and Racism Today (click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)
PCC Library also owns the DVD.

Local Color

Oregon Public Broadcasting:  SPECIALS

Local Color

  • Aired: 05/01/1999
  • 57:44
This documentary chronicles the little known history of racism in Oregon and the moving story of people, both black and white, who worked for civil rights. There are moments of highly disturbing racism in a state not known for diversity. But there are also moments of inspiration and courage as people take a stand to bring about important change.


School: The Story of American Public Education

A four-part series by PBS. Available from the Films on Demand database.

The Common School: 1770-1890 (click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)

As American As Public School 1900-1950 (click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)

A Struggle for Educational Equality 1950-1980 (click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)

The Bottom Line in Education 1980-Present (click on the "View It" tab when the link opens)


Selected Films from PCC Libraries and Beyond

These films are available on DVD from the PCC Libraries

Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement is a four part documentary series that examines the events that ignited Mexican American's national movements for social justice.

The Color of Fear  
"is about the pain and anguish that racism has caused in the lives of eight North American men of Asian, European, Latino, and African descent."

Cracking the Codes: A System of Racial Inequality "reveals a self-perpetuating system of inequity in which internal factors play out in external structures: institutions, policy and law."

The End of Poverty? Think Again "explains how global poverty began with military conquest, slavery, and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals, and forced labor. Today's financial crisis is a direct consequence of these unchallenged policies that have lasted centuries." Also available streaming through the Kanopy database.

Harvest of Empire is a "powerful documentary that exposes the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today."

The Pathology of Privilege "offers a unique, inside-out view of race and racism in America." Available to order through Summit.

Precious Knowledge this PBS documentary shares the story of Tucson High School's Mexican American Studies program.
 "While 48 percent of Mexican-American students currently drop out of high school, this program has become a national model of educational success, with 93 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school. However, Arizona lawmakers shut the program down because they believe the students are being indoctrinated with dangerous ideology and embracing destructive ethnic chauvinism." Available to order through Summit.

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?  is a seven-part documentary series "arguing that health and longevity are correlated with socioeconomic status; people of color face an additional health burden, and our health and well-being are tied to policies that promote economic and social justice."

These films are available from the Films on Demand Database

Moyers and Company: Rewriting the Story of America "In this edition of Moyers & Company, Junot Díaz joins Bill to discuss the evolution of the great American story while offering funny and perceptive insights into his own work and America's inevitable shift to a majority-minority country.

Race: The Power of an Illusion "
follows a dozen students, including African-American athletes and Asian-American violin players, who sequence and compare their own DNA, only to discover their closest genetic matches are as likely to be with people from other "races" as their own."


These films are available to view free on the Web

Aamer Rahman (Fear of a Brown Planet) -- Reverse Racism 

Cultural Genocide tells the story of "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada has concluded the country’s decades-long policy of forcibly removing indigenous children from their families and placing them in state-funded residential Christian schools amounted to "cultural genocide."

Dr. Joyce DeGruy on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome 

Immigrants for Sale details the for-profit detention center industry: "the detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products."

Malcolm X: Make It Plain is a PBS American Experience documentary on the life of Malcolm X.

Michelle Alexander on Mass Incarceration and the New Jim Crow in this film, Michelle Alexander, "highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture."

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible
 "Use this groundbreaking film and conversation guide in your organization to help bridge the gap between good intentions and meaningful change."

Schooling the World: The White Man's Last Burden, part 1/7 and part 5/7 asks "w
hat really happens when we replace another culture’s canon of knowledge with our own?  Does life really get better for its people? This film takes a challenging, sometimes funny, ultimately deeply troubling look at the role played by modern education in the destruction of the world’s last sustainable land-based cultures."

The Whiteness Project by PBS contains interviews from "over 1,000 white people 
from all walks of life and localities in which they are asked about their relationship to, and their understanding of, their own whiteness."

Whitewashed: Unmasking the World of Whiteness "chronicles White Americans reflecting on white racial identity and racism."

PCC Films

PCC has a large collection of films in DVD and streaming format. The two primary databases of streaming (view online) films are Kanopy and Films on Demand. The films in these databases can be view from anywhere with an Internet connection, and require a MyPCC login.

Below are some selected films. Search the Kanopy and Films on Demand databases directly to find more films. You'll find the databases in the list of Articles & Databases.