BCLMC BROOKLYN CAMPUS LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER
Black History Month;
Farewell to Periodicals Librarian Ed Keane
"Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers." --Blake [Alec Baldwin] Glengarry Glen Ross
In the Mix: a random shuffle of some movies we've played recently in our Now Playing program:
Other sites we like:
Did you know: Soon-to-be former LIU Brooklyn Campus Librarian Ed Keane and pompous homer Yankee radio announcer John Sterling both worked their way through college as rodeo clowns in Jasper, Wyoming.
A Mr. Williamson, from Real Estate Sales, writes, "Will you go to lunch? Go to lunch. WILL you GO to LUNCH?"
Be a doll and pick me up a ham on rye.
A Mr. Blake, from Mitch and Mahoney, writes, "Anybody want to see second prize?"
Let me guess, something from the ginsu line.
This issue of BCLMC is brought to you all the way from the back row by longstanding Media Assistant Patrick Jewell. Tell your friends.
Black History Month
The Media Center owns many fine materials that deal in myriad ways with the African-American experience. For example, see our issue on the death of Rosa Parks, here. Also, in our first issue, we took a look at the careers of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. In our current issue, we'd like to focus on some rare titles that feature great African-American actors, musicians, artists, and performers that predate the Civil Rights era of Ms. Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King.
The Producers' Guild of
America calls Oscar
Micheaux "the most prolific black -
if not most prolific independent - filmmaker in American cinema...[he]
wrote, produced and directed forty-four feature-length films between 1919
and 1948." We have four of Micheaux's films in our collection,
Our Gates, which includes scenes which were probably a direct response
to D. W. Griffith's Birth
of a Nation and its scenes of interracial violence. Micheaux's
and Soul was the first film appearance of the great Paul
Robeson, actor, singer, and political activist (follow the previous
link for four more of Robeson's films, as well as a biography).
Within Our Gates is volume I of the Smithsonian's African-American Cinema series; the second volume features Scar of Shame, a silent melodrama about class differences within the African-American community, specifically as they play it out within an ill-fated marriage. Also included in this volume is an early musical jazz short featuring Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake performing two numbers.
Princesse Tam Tam and Zou Zou are two early sound films that feature the legendary Josephine Baker, the darling of Paris in the twenties and thirties. That's Black Entertainment looks at the early history of African-American cinema and also features three short films of performances by Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, and Lena Horne. Don't miss these fascinating and rare archival performances, including the only film Bessie Smith ever made. Stormy Weather is a full-length musical romance from 1943 starring Lena Horne and Bill Bojangles Robinson, that also features performances by Cab Calloway, the Nicholas Brothers, and Fats Waller. Moon over Harlem, directed by Edward G. Ulmer is a musical melodrama about racketeering.
Native Son is a 1950 adaptation of Richard Wright's novel, with the author himself playing Bigger Thomas. Carmen Jones (1954) stars Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in Otto Preminger's film version of Bizet's opera.
The Media Center is also rich in holdings of videos about Jazz and its legendary performers, as well African-American visual artists and writers, particularly those who were a part of the Harlem Renaissance. Also of special note in other fields are Ken Burns' look at the life of prizefighter Jack Johnson, and two videos that deal with African-American journalism: One Shot: the life and work of Teenie Harris and The Black Press, Soldiers without Swords. Future issues of the BCLMC will look at these non-feature film holdings in greater depth.
Farewell and Good Luck
Goodbye to the loquacious Periodicals Librarian Ed Keane. In February, he moves on to a job in an undisclosed location somewhere in the lower 48, working, we believe, as some sort of cultural correspondent for Little Steven's Underground Garage. We wish him great success; he will be missed. Good luck, Ed, we've been proud to work with you, even if you are a Yankee fan. Some movies to help him on his way:
"Where did you learn your trade?" --Ricky Roma [Al Pacino] Glengarry Glen Ross
The Media Center is located on the fifth floor of the Library Learning Center. Come up and see us some time.
BCLMC BROOKLYN CAMPUS LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER
Comments? Contact us.
Librarian (718) 488-1311 Andrea.Slonosky@liu.edu