5. Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
Released: February 19
Director: Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution)
Why it’s great: Nelson is PBS' go-to filmmaker for documentaries on black history topics, but unlike his usual work, this one leaves you with more than just a lesson on the past. Chronicling the milestones of and discourse around African-American education, from the slavery years through today, Tell Them We Are Rising focuses on the establishment of Historically Black Colleges and Universities while also highlighting the general importance of learning for the sake of empowerment and progress. Hearing from historians and seeing the compiled archival footage here, we’re reminded of the taken-for-granted significance of education to influencing culture and inspiring past, present, and future civil rights movements. The history may be specific, but the encouragement should affect anyone.
Where to see it: Stream on PBS.org (through 3/22); rent on DVD