(Independent Lens) — 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 more than 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. With Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, the latest documentary from Stanley Nelson (Black Panthers, Freedom Riders), America's foremost film chronicler of the African-American experience, the powerful story of the rise, influence and evolution of HBCUs comes to life. Tell Them We Are Rising, co-directed and co-produced by Marco Williams, premieres on Independent Lens, Monday, February 19 at 8 p.m. on Houston Public Media TV 8.
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.
See more in the trailer above.
Facebook Live Interview With The Filmmaker
Tune into Houston Public Media’s Facebook page on Friday, January 12 at 7 p.m. for a live stream panel discussion featuring Tell Them We Are Rising filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the president of Texas Southern University and acclaimed musician and HBCU graduate Yolanda Adams.