Video Library

lady-justice-1-mary-tere-perezThank you for visiting the Camden Civil Rights Project Video Library. Our archives contain a variety of informative video materials which track the ideological evolution of the United States over the last 100 years. Since World War II, our country has increasingly shifted towards a value free utilitarian economic approach of resolving social conflict, which most scholars argue has created the greatest concentration of wealth in the history of the World. An ethical question arises over whether we can reverse the adverse effects that income and wealth disparity have upon our system of participatory democracy or if we will remain on our current course, destined to repeat the same historical mistakes of past failed democracies. Our video section attempts to highlight the social, economic and philosophical developments which have molded American public policy over the last half century and present pragmatic solutions for steering our nation towards a more equitable social and economic arrangement. The archived video materials can be accessed by clicking on the menu selection or the links below. Please feel free to use the comment section to recommend materials and resources you believe will aid in creating a better understanding of the social and economic crisis we currently face in the U.S.

The Moral Crisis of Racial Inequality (1963)

Synopsis: President John F. Kennedy’s civil rights address delivered to the nation on June 11, 1963. Following the protests in Birmingham, AL, President Kennedy  addressed the “moral crisis” of racial segregation and called for national participation in ensuring that America becomes the “land of the free” that our democracy promises for all of its citizens.

View the video HERE

 

Meet the Press: Martin Luther King, Jr. Discusses Civil Disobedience (1965)

Cue Card preview imageSynopsis: Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks on Meet The Press one week after leading his historic five-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to draw attention to the humiliating conditions in Alabama which included state enforced segregation, police brutality and racially-motivated homicide. Dr. King asserts, “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

View the video HERE

The Other America (1967)

Synopsis: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech on social and economic inequality in America delivered at Stanford University on April 15, 1967. Dr King contends that there are two Americas: one beautiful and another which is an “arena of blasted hopes and dreams.” He encourages us to seek a nation where all citizens can share in the American dream of social advancement  and economic prosperity.

View the video HERE

Malcolm X: Make It Plain (1994)

Synopsis: This PBS documentary leads the viewer through the life of Malcolm X – from early adulthood to his untimely death. The story is told via short interviews with friends and family who were closest to the prominent civil rights leader. It reflects one man’s triumphant journey to overcome racial injustice in America while struggling to overcome his own negative racial perceptions.

View the video HERE

The Century of the Self (2002)

Synopsis: Adam Curtis’ acclaimed four part BBC series examines how the introduction of Sigmund Freud’s theory of Psychoanalysis has come to shape American culture. The series advances the thesis that Freud’s views of the unconscious set the stage for corporations, and later politicians, to manipulate public behavior through appeals to our subconscious fears and desires. The series raises important ethical questions about whether the emotional manipulation of group behaviors is consistent with Democratic ideals.

View the videos HERE

The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004)

Synopsis: The Power of Nightmares first aired on BBC Two in the Autumn of 2004 as a series of three one hour documentaries questioning whether Western concerns over terrorism and the threat of al-Qaeda were exaggerated by politicians seeking to maintain their power and authority. The series assesses whether an organized terrorist network actually exists and poses the possibility that it is simply a phantom menace being used to prevent the erosion of our faith in government.

View the videos HERE

Why We Fight (2006)

download (8)Synopsis:  Documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki’s in-depth look at how the United States has built the largest peace time military/corporate/industrial complex in the history of the World. The film received the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and raises important moral and ethical questions about the underlying economic decisions which influence U.S. policymakers to lead the nation into war.

View the video HERE

Angela Davis: How Does Change Happen? (2006)


Synopsis:
Angela Davis is a seasoned political activist who has dedicated her life to social reformation. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist during the Civil Rights Movement and was once on the F.B.I.’s Ten Most Wanted list for her associations with the Communist Party USA and the Black Panther Party. Davis founded, Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a former director of the university’s Feminist Studies Department. In this talk, Angela Davis reflects on her successes and shares her insights on the strategies for change that have made — and will make — history.

View the video HERE

Racism: A History (2007)

racismahistorybbcSynopsis: This three-part documentary series was first broadcast on BBC Four in March 2007 to mark the bicentenary of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 which abolished the slave trade in the British Empire. The series closely examines how modern European racial perceptions were originally shaped by attempts to morally justify the colonial exploitation of indigenous peoples and documents the development of scientific and theological racism which culminated into the Twentieth Century’s Eugenics movement. The filmmakers reveal some uncomfortable truths about how these racial myths have evolved throughout popular European culture leading to institutionalized racism in the U.K., the Jim Crow Era in the U.S., the Apartheid Regime in South Africa and the mass sterilization and genocide of targeted ethnic populations by countries which have embraced the theories of Eugenics.

View the videos HERE

The Camden 28 (2007)

Synopsis: By 1971, the “Catholic Left” movement had conducted over 30 draft board raids, destroying close to a million Selective Service documents.  But they were hardly a centralized or structured movement. Actions were carried out by independent groups of activists, angered by the war’s mounting toll and its collateral effects on impoverished cities like Camden, New Jersey.

On the evening of August 21, 1971, Father Michael Doyle and a group of twenty Catholic antiwar activists were arrested attempting to break into the Camden draft board office to destroy records after the group was betrayed by a member of their own group acting as an agent provocateur for the F.B.I. This PBS documentary recounts their act of civil disobedience and the ensuing legal battle, which Supreme Court Justice William Brennan labeled “one of the great trials of the 20th century.” Political scientists like Howard Zinn provided expert testimony on the time honored American tradition of civil disobedience, resulting in the eventual acquittal of the activists on the grounds of jury nullification.

View the video HERE

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom? (2007)

Synopsis: This three part documentary series by award-winning producer Adam Curtis explores whether the assumption that human behavior is motivated by rational self interest has created a culture of suspicion which actually threatens individual liberties and reduces the quality of our lives. The series explores how the introduction of Game Theory and the rise of neo-conservatism have influenced Western policy decisions since the Cold War era and led to an extreme view of negative liberties which has embraced the dystopian concept of suppressing popular dissent through the use of violent force. Curtis suggests the hope of improving society has been abandoned  in favor of a safer, less satisfying form of democracy which robs our lives of their intrinsic value.

View the videos HERE

The End of America (2008)

Synopsis:  In this avant-garde documentary film, best-selling author Naomi Wolf, a former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton, lays out her case for how the United States is incrementally moving towards becoming a closed society. Wolf outlines ten steps past dictatorships have taken to shut down an open society. The film presents the thesis that recent events in the United States closely parallel those which occurred in the early stages of 20th century totalitarian  regimes established by Germany, Russia, China, and Chile.

View the video HERE

Poet of Poverty (2010)

Poet of PovertySynopsis: The 2008 documentary film, Poet of Poverty, investigates how a city like Camden, New Jersey, which is annually ranked among the poorest and most dangerous cities in America, can come into existence in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. The film is based on the letters of Father Michael Doyle, a local parish priest, which are narrated by Martin Sheen.

The film’s opening segment was written in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Martin Sheen narrates Father Doyle’s account of a student’s comment that “I’m not afraid because if the terrorists fly over Camden, they’ll think they have done it already.” A second two minute segment, entitled “Hope in Camden,” features Martin Sheen narrating the poem The Dolphins Danced on Arlington to the visual of impoverished children in Camden at play in a makeshift pool built from a discarded hot tub and their imagination.

View the videos HERE

Freedom Riders (2010)

Synopsis: An award winning PBS documentary which tells the story of a courageous band of civil rights activists calling themselves Freedom Riders, who challenged racial segregation in the American South. The film recounts the harrowing and inspirational story of a tight knit band of civil rights activists that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives— many enduring savage beatings and imprisonment—for touring the South on buses and trains to challenge Jim Crow laws which prevented blacks from utilizing “white only” facilities. The activists were met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, severely testing their faith in the possibility of non-violent change.

View the video HERE

Julian Assange: Wikirebels (2010)

Synopsis: When Julian Assange first launched his whistle-blower website, Wikileaks, he was heralded as a public hero for exposing government and corporate corruption. Public opinion quickly shifted as Western governments who had been exposed launched a full scale campaign to marginalize Assange and paint him as a threat to national security. Swedish Television’s Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist investigate the history of WikiLeaks and its mission through the lens of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, his partner Daniel Domscheit Berg, the editorial teams at the Guardian, Der Spiegel and New York Times newspapers, and the US State Department officials who were forced to address and contain the early leaks.

View the video HERE

Richard Wilkinson: How Economic Inequality Harms Societies (2011)

Synopsis: For decades, British social epidemiologist, Richard Wilkinson, has studied the societal effects of income inequality upon developed nations. In this twenty minute presentation, Wilkinson, charts the hard data on economic inequality and explains the societal effects income disparity has on health, lifespan, and basic societal values, such as trust, when the income gap between the wealthiest and the poorest citizens in a society becomes too wide. Wilkinson presents statistical evidence gathered over decades of research which suggests that, among developed countries, societies with a smaller income gap between wealthiest and poorest citizens are healthier and experience fewer social problems such as violence, drug abuse, and mental illness than societies with greater disparities in the distribution of wealth.

Richard Wilkinson is Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, having retired in 2008. He is also an Honorary Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.

View the video HERE

Slavery By Another Name (2012)

Synopsis: This 90-minute PBS documentary challenges one of our country’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged which were tolerated throughout our country, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage by trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II. The documentary premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

View the video HERE

Noam Chomsky: Corporate Assault on Public Education (2012)

Synopsis: Noam Chomsky delivered his lecture on the goals of Public Education on March 16, 2012, at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Harlem, NY. Chomsky discusses the longstanding tradition of utilizing public education as a means of breeding civic passivity and conformity, while discouraging free and independent thought. Chomsky sets forth the premise that the ruling class utilizes public education to naturalize individuals into the established corporate ethos and to dissuade them from challenging the dominant ideology and economic structure. Chomsky cuts through the political rhetoric with a detailed historical analysis of the Western practice of using social institutions to indoctrinate the young.

View the video HERE

Robert Reich: Inequality for All (2013)

Synopsis: In 2008, the Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers collapsed triggering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Unlike the New Deal era reforms, the financial response to our modern crisis was to entrench existing wealth through government subsidies. Meanwhile, millions of working class Americans lost their homes, pensions and employment. During the economic recovery period, the top 1 percent of Americans have captured approximately 95 percent of the income gains while the middle class has been forced to accept pay cuts.  As a result, the current divide between the top 1 percent of Americans and the lowest 99 percent is the greatest it ever been since the Great Depression.

Bill Moyer and political economist, Robert Reich, discuss the growing income equality in America.  Reich warns that the middle class in America is shrinking at an alarming rate and the record income gap is undermining our democracy. Reich is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He served in the administrations of presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor from 1993-1997 under the Bill Clinton administration.

View the video HERE

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013)

Synopsis: This Emmy Award-winning PBS series explores the cultural identity of African-Americans. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces viewers to the variety of religious, cultural and social perspectives which have shaped the African-American culture throughout our nation’s history, by consulting America’s top historians on African-American history, visiting historical sites, and interviewing individuals who have helped to create social reformation. Dr. Gates highlights the tragedies, triumphs and contradictions experienced by the African American community and sheds new light on what it means to be African-American in contemporary America.

View the video HERE

Paul Piff: Does Money Make You Mean? (2013)
Synopsis: It’s amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.) But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there’s good news too — psychological encouragement seems to “nudge” individuals towards greater empathy in adopting egalitarian ideals. (Filmed at TEDxMarin.)
View the video HERE

Erica Chenoweth: The Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance (2013)

Political Scientist, Erica Chenowith, speaks about her research on the impressive historical record of civil resistance in the 20th century and discusses the promise of unarmed struggle in the 21st century. According to her research, from 1900-2006, campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance were twice as likely to succeed as violent campaigns. Chenowith asserts a “3.5% rule”—the notion that no government can withstand a challenge of 3.5% of its population without either accommodating the movement or (in extreme cases) disintegrating. Chenowith is a faculty member and Ph.D. program co-director at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

View the video HERE

Aaron Swartz: The Internet’s Own Boy (2014)

Synopsis: Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger explores the life and work of programming prodigy and internet activist Aaron Swartz. The documentary presents a dynamic and tragic portrait of the life of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, a champion of open access who grew up to lead the internet community into a new age of data sharing and free speech. The film examines how the suppression of information and lack of government transparency has been used to avoid public scrutiny and prevent informed participation in the democratic process.

View the video HERE

Revealed: The Activists Who Uncovered the FBI’s Covert CoIntelPro Counter-Surveillance Program (2014)

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviews three of the original activists responsible for the 1971 break-in of an FBI office in Media, PA, to steal documents related to the Agency’s illegal domestic surveillance tactics. The group later leaked the removed documents to the press, revealing the FBI’s covert counter-intelligence program, CoIntelPro, which consisted of a mass surveillance campaign against celebrities, politicians and political dissidents, as well as the infiltration, monitoring and disruption of social and political movements. The former activists discuss how they planned and executed the break-in, and how the struggle to keep their identities hidden amidst an agency wide manhunt. Also discussed is the FBI smear campaign against the outspoken Hollywood actress Jane Seberg; the suicide letter sent to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by the FBI; and the assassination of Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton. Their story is relevant now more than ever amidst revelations about the current domestic surveillance abuses and the FBI’s entrapment tactics and informant culture which many critics believe has led to a manufactured war on terror.

View the video HERE

Paul Krugman: The United States is Becoming an Oligarchy (2014)

Synopsis: Bill Moyer and economist Paul Krugman discuss Thomas Pickety’s concept of Patrimonial Capitalism. Krugman explains how inherited wealth is creating tremendous inequalities in income and wealth in the United States which threaten our system of participatory democracy. Krugman points out that as wealth continues to concentrate, political influence has become limited to a very small percentage of American society which is becoming increasingly hostile to the concerns of ordinary Americans.

Krugman is a Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. In 2008, Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography.

View the video HERE

Synopsis: Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, describes himself as a “proud and unapologetic capitalist.” Hanauer was one of the first investors in Amazon.com, where he served as adviser to the board until 2000. He also founded gear.com (which eventually merged with Overstock.com) and Avenue A Media which was acquired by Microsoft in 2007, under the new name aQuantive, for $6.4 billion. In 2000, Hanauer co-formed the Seattle-based venture capital company, Second Avenue Partners, which funds and advises early stage internet companies such as HouseValues Qliance, and Newsvine.

Hanauer has become an important voice in the raging debate over income inequality. His provocative argument is aimed towards his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our society into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear Nick’s argument about why a dramatic increase in minimum wage could grow the middle class, deliver economic prosperity … and prevent a revolution.

View the video HERE

Noam Chomsky: Successful Social Movements (2014)

Synopsis: Chris Hedges with RealNews.com interviews Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, about the future of majoritarian social movements. Chomsky discusses the historical attempts by those in power to suppress public dissent and the success of Twentieth Century labor movements. Chomsky asserts protest tactics, such as, Occupy Wall Street help to affect public discourse which can help to undermine the existing power structure and create tomorrow’s social institutions.

View the video HERE

Lisa Ma: The Future of Activism Isn’t Loud (2014)

Synopsis: Designer/Researcher Lisa Ma speaks at TEDxEastEnd about the possibility of a passive activism which shifts away from the traditional model of confrontation against power towards creative acts of public service. Lisa Ma writes and lectures about fringe communities, ethnographic research and speculative design.

View the video HERE

Lawrence Lessig: Our Democracy No Longer Represents the People. Here’s How We Fix It (2015)

Synopsis: Harvard Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig, makes the case that our democracy has become corrupt with money, leading to the concerns of ordinary Americans being ignored. Leesig argues that only 0.02% of the United States population actually determines who’s in power and introduces a study conducted by Princeton researchers which suggests that public opinion no longer has any quantifiable influence on public policy. Lessig contends that this fundamental breakdown of the democratic system must be fixed before we will ever be able to address major challenges like racial inequality, economic disparity and climate change.

View the video HERE

Pope Francis Address to U.S. Congress (2015)

Synopsis: Pope Francis made history on September 24, 2015, with his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress — the first ever by a sitting pope. His remarks touched on America’s democratic tradition, religious tolerance, immigration and economic disparity.

Pope Francis asserts that the focus of legislators should always be on the concerns of the people they serve, appealing to Congress to use their authority to shape a more equitable society: “Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.”

View the video HERE

 

 

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“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

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