Civil Rights Movement
Film, Videos & Audio


Audio & Music

See also:

Books About the Civil Rights Movement
Websites/pages about the Freedom Movement

(Note that the resources listed here are provided as an information service only. Inclusion in these lists does not necessarily imply that they are approved, recommended, or endorsed by Movement veterans or this website.)


4 Little Girls, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks/HBO. Historical documentary about the September 15th, 1963 murder of four African-American girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.

40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk?, Hancock Productions. Documentary about the first African Americans to integrate the white high school in Batesville, Mississippi in 1967-69.

A Child Shall Lead Them: the Desegregation of Nashville's Public Schools, Magellan Press Films.
  Live stream YouTube

A. Phillip Randolph: for Jobs and Freedom. A documentary on the life and work of A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters which inspired the Civil Rights Movement. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.
  Live stream Kanopy (Library login required)

An Ordinary Hero: The True Story of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Taylor Street Films. Documentary about Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a white Southern Civil Rights activist.
  Live stream Kanopy (Library login required)

A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer [director's cut], by Richard Beymer, 1964. A documentary film by Richard Beymer Documentary on the Mississippi Freedom Summer. Co-produced by Council of Federated Organization Film (COFO). 28min
  Live stream YouTube

At the River I Stand Documentary on the Memphis Garbage Strike 1968, and assasination of Dr. King.
  Live stream

Boycott. Story of Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  Live stream

Brother Outside: The Life of Bayard Rustin. The story of the civil rights and gay rights activist, pacifist, and friend of Martin Luther King. Aired as part of the PBS "POV" series.

The Children's March, by Tell the Truth Pictures, 2004. "When the youth of Birmingham, AL, took to the streets and challenged segregation, they launched a revolution — and changed the world.
  Live stream YouTube

Cicero March, The Film Group. Short documentary film about the civil rights march held on September 4, 1966 in Cicero, Illinois.
  Live stream YouTube

Citizen King. The last 5 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life. Produced by PBS for the "The American Experience."

Counter Histories. Southern Foodways Alliance. Videos about the student sit-ins: Cambridge MD, Durham NC, Jackson MS, Nashville TN, Rock Hill SC.

Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment, ABC News/Drew Associates. Documentary about University of Alabama's integration crisis of June 1963.
  Live stream YouTube

Dare Not Walk Alone, Indican Pictures. Documentary about the protests by black and white civil rights supporters in 1964 in Saint Augustine, Florida, and the inequalities that persist to this day in the local African American community.

Dirt and Deeds in Mississippi, by California Newsreel, 2015. Weaves together interviews with civil rights activists, archival film footage, and original historical research to portray a key period of civil rights history leading up to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Dream Deferred. SNCC, 1964. Produced for Freedom Summer (also available from Prime).

The Desegregation of Huntsville (AL), American Experience ~ PBS, 2019.

Eyes on the Prize, Parts 1 and 2, by Blackside. Outstanding 14 hour documentary on the Freedom Movement, broadcast as part of PBS "American Experience."
  Live stream provided by Facing History and Ourselves (Login required).

Fannie Lou Hamer's America, by From the Heart Productions. Documentary told through the public speeches, personal interviews, and powerful songs of the fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist.

The FBI's War on Black America. Examines COINTELPRO operations against the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements.
  Live stream (YouTube)

February 1. Chronicles the Greensborom NC student sit-ins in 1960 which sparked many similar actions across the country. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.

Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964. Independent documentary about women from Spelman College class of 1964 who participated in civil rights protests in Atlanta.

For Us the Living, 1983. Anchor Bay Entertainment. Story of Medgar Evers. Screenplay by Ossie Davis. Starring Howard Rollins, Jr., Irene Cara, Laurence Fishburne, and Paul Winfield.

Freedom On My Mind, California Newsreel, 1994. The story of the Mississippi freedom movement in the early 1960s when a handful of young activists changed history.

Freedom Riders, Stanley Nelson ~ American Experience, 2010. Partially based on Ray Arsenalut's Freedom Riders.
  Live stream (YouTube)

Freedom Song (TNT Movie). Fictional account of the Movement in Mississippi in the early '60s. Closely based on actual events in McComb, 1961. Well researched, and powerfully presented. Danny Glover stars.
  Live stream (BMETV)

Freedom Summer, Firelight Films. Documentary narrating events of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer.
  Live stream (YouTube)

From Swastika to Jim Crow, Pacific Street Films, 2001. Story of German Jewish intellectuals who fled the Nazis to America and became professors at historically all-Black colleges in the South such as Tougaloo, Talladega, Hampton, and Howard. Shunned by Southern whites, threatened by the KKK, they played a role during the struggles of the 1950s and 60s.

Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker, First Run Films 1981. By Joanne Grant. Documentary about Ella Baker's contributions to the civil rights movement. Includes Bio & interviews with Ella Baker (NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, etc).

Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis, Kathleen Dowdey, Early Light Productions. Documentary biography of SNCC leader and Congressman.
  Live stream (PBS)

Ghosts of Mississippi, Castle Rock Entertainment. Real-life drama covering the final trial of Byron De La Beckwith, the assassin of heroic civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

Go South, A film by Howard Rieder. At the height of the Civil Rights movement in 1964, a young white educator took his wife and two children to teach at Alabama's all-black Tuskegee University.
   Live stream (Part 1 YouTube)
   Live stream (Part 2 YouTube)

Heather Booth: Changing the World, a documentary film by Lily Rivlin. 2017. How the Civil Rights Movement inspired SNCC activist and Freedom Summer volunteer Heather Booth to a lifetime of fighting for social justice.

Home of the Brave, About Viola Luizzo the only white woman murdered in the civil rights movement in America and why we don't know who she is.

Hoxie: the First Stand. After the Brown v. Board ruling, the head of the Hoxie, Arkansas school board moves to desegregate schools. Segregationists, often from outside the town, see this as an opportunity to foment oppositon. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.

I Am Not Your Negro, Velvet Film/Artemis Productions/Close Up Films, 2017. Documentary that explores the history of racism in the United States through James Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

The Intolerable Burden, Directed by Chea Prince, Produced by Constance Curry. First Run Icarus Films. 2003. Based on Connie's book Silver Rights, the story of school integration in one rural Mississippi county.
  Live stream (YouTube)

Iowans Return to Freedom Summer, by Keeping History Alive foundation. 2015. Firsthand accounts from six Freedom Summer volunteers from Iowa who reflect on their motivations, fears, triumphs and the life altering events that took place 50 years ago.
  Live stream (IPTV)

Julian Bond: Reflections From the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement, Heritage Film Project. Documentary about African American social activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Julian Bond.
  Live stream Kanopy (Library Login Required)

The Long Walk Home, Miramax Films, 1991. Fictional account of Montgomery Bus Boycott. Stars Whoopi Goldberg and Sissy Spacek.

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis, Commonwealth United Entertainment, 2008. Documentary film biography of Martin Luther King Jr. and his creation and leadership of the nonviolent campaign for civil rights and social and economic justice in the Civil Rights Movement.
  Live stream Kanopy(Library Login Required)

Klansville U.S.A., WGBH Productions, 2015. Documentay about the Ku Klux Klan's rise in the mid-1960s in North Carolina.
  Live stream (Dailymotion)

Louisiana Diary, KQED. Documentary that follows the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) as they undertake an African American voter registration drive in the town of Plaquemine, Louisiana, in 1963.

Lulu and the Girls of Americus, by Titan Multimedia Productions. 50-minute documentary describing the imprisonment of adolescent girls for protesting segregation in Americus GA in 1963.

The March, United States Information Agency (USIA), 1964. Documentary film by James Blue about the 1963 civil rights March on Washington.

The March, Cactus Three, Smoking Dogs Films, Sundance Productions, 2013. Documentary directed by John Akomfrah and narrated by Denzel Washington. About the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Mighty Times: The Children's March, Teaching Tolerance/HBO. Short documentary about the Birmingham civil rights marches in 1963.
  Live stream (YouTube)

Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks,Teaching Tolerance. Short documentary about the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Mississippi Burning, Orion Pictures, 1989. Hollywood crime thriller supposedly based on the FBI's investigation into the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. Note that most Freedom Movement veterans reject and condemn this film as a utter falsification of history (see veteran's comments for more information).

Mississippi Cold Case, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Documentary about the Ku Klux Klan murders of two 19-year-old young black men, Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, in southwest Mississippi in May 1964.

Mississippi — Is This America? 1962-1964, 1986. PBS.
  Live stream Kanopy (Library Login Required)

Mississippi Summer: The Unfinished Journey. Films for the Humanities, 1993.

The Murder of Emmett Till. Story of the murder of the young boy from the north in Money, Mississippi. Produced by PBS for "The American Experience."
  Live stream (YouTube)

Negroes With Guns. The activism of North Carolina's Robert F. Williams who advocated armed self-defense against attacks on the Movement and the Black community. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.

Nine from Little Rock. United States Information Agency. Short documentary about the lives of the nine African-American students who integrated Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the fall of 1957.
  Live stream (YouTube)

Our Friend, Martin. DIC Entertainment. Animated children's educational film about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.
  Live stream (YouTube)

Passage at St. Augustine. An hour-long civil rights documentary on the historic St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement, by AugustineMonica Films. Trailer can be viewed on Vimeo.

Rise Up: The Movement that Changed America, History channel. 2018. One-hour documentary on the Civil Rights Movement.

The Road to Brown. The story of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling as the culmination of a brilliant legal assault on segregation that launched the Civil Rights movement. California Newsreel.

Rise and Fall of Jim Crow 4-part series offering a comprehensive look at race relations in America between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. California Newsreel.

Rivers of Change The Legacy of Five Unheralded Women in Montgomery and Their Struggle for Justice and Dignity, by William Dickerson-Waheed Cosmo-D productions.

The Rosa Parks Story, Chotzen/Jenner Productions, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Drama about Rosa Parks and the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ruby Bridges, Buena Vista. Historical drama about the first African- American student to integrate the local elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1960.

Scarred Justice: the Orangeburg Massacre 1968. Unarmed demonstrators were shot and killed by authorities during a protest against segregation in Orangeburg, South Carolina. One of the producers is SNCC veteran Judy Richardson. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.

The Second American Revolution. By Bill Moyers with Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis, 1994. PBS.

Selma, Paramount Pictures, 2015. Powerful and moving historical drama about the historic 1965 Selma Voting Rights campiagn and March to Montgomery.

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot, Teaching Tolerance. Documentary about a group of students and teachers who nonviolently fought to win voting rights for African Americans in the South.

Selma, Lord, Selma. Film made from the book of the same name about Selma's "youngest freedom fighters," Sheyann age 8, and Rachel age 9.

Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change. (Alabama Public Television.)

SNCC a film by SNCC photographer Danny Lyon. Photographs made by Danny during the years that he was employed as the staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee layered with archival audio recordings of speeches by, and conversations with, John Lewis, Julian Bond, Dotty Zellner, among others, as well as freedom songs that were recorded by Alan Ribback in churches and meetings in Atlanta in the 1960s and recently rediscovered.
Live stream (Vimeo)

Soundtrack for a Revolution, Freedom Song Productions, 2009. Documentary telling the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music.

Spies of Mississippi (PBS) Documents secret efforts of Mississippi Sovereignty Commission to undermine and destroy the Freedom Movement and their network of spies.

Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders. Film about the Movement in Mississippi from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it.

The Strange Demise of Jim Crow. In the early 1960's, the Movement and the white leadership of Houston, TX — unlike in some other places in the South — work together for a more orderly desegregation. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.

They Closed our schools, Mercy Seat Films. Documentary on the history of public schools closings, 1959-1964, in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

A Time for Justice, Guggenheim Productions. Short documentary about the Civil Rights Movement using historical footage and spoken accounts of participants.

The Vernon Johns Story (AKA The Road to Freedom: the Vernon Johns Story). Made for TV biopic of the early Movement leader. Stars James Earl Jones.

We Shall Overcome. Story of the song that became the anthem that set America marching towards racial equality. [Only sold to organizations, libraries, church groups, etc.]

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe. Emily Kunstler Sarah Kunstler, 2009. Biography of civil rights and radical attorney William Kunstler. Aired as part of the PBS "POV" series.

The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306, National Civil Rights Museum. Documentary about the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis in 1968.

You Got to Move, Cumberland Mountain Educational Cooperative. Documentary that follows people from communities in the Southern United States in their various processes of becoming involved in social change.


Courtland Cox, by Julian Bond Oral History Project (American University). SNCC leader Courtland Cox describes his early Freedom Movement involvement and his work with Julian Bond.

Elaine Massacre –  In an Arkansas town, echoes of a century-old massacre. 2019.

The Freedom Summer Murders — Was It Worth It? (re Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman lynching), by two junior high students from New York City as National History Day Competition, 2019.

The Girls Of The Leesburg Stockade, by Georgia Public Broadcasting. Seven-minute video about the imprisonment of adolescent girls for protesting segregation in Americus GA in 1963.

Justice Justice 1964 ~ Journey to St. Augustine, by Ron Tobias. 50th anniversary return of rabbis arrested in 1964. 2014.

Martin Luther King interview, NBC News, 1967. Never broadcast, not made available until 2018. (27 minutes.)

Martin Luther King Interview, by Merv Griffin Show. Eleven minute mass-media interview. 1967.

Leesburg, by Danny Lyon? Six-minute video recalling the imprisonment of adolescent girls for protesting segregation.

Lessons From the Southern Freedom Struggle: Movement veterans discuss teacher questions in an online webinar hosted by U.C. Berkeley. August 2020.
  Session #1, Session #2

John Lewis interview, by Ellen DeGeneris show. Six minute interview about Black Lives Matter protests and current civil rights issues. 2020.

Mississippi Justice, by Kirstin Butler, Ben Greenberg and Eric P. Gulliver, (American Experience ~ PBS), 2020. Short 14 minute film, the murders of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman.

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom The lynching of Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman and the struggle to bring their killers to justice.

No Place to Sit-In, Jennifer Lawson & Charlie Cobb. on SNCC's community organizing in the rural South. 2020.

Organizing Lowndes County: Then & Now, April 2017. Roundtable discussion with Jennifer Lawson, Courtland Cox and Catherine Flowers.

Pursuing a Late Justice: the Prosecution of Mississippi's Civil Rights Murders. Video tape of forum at University of Southern Mississippi. Can be obtained from: Email: Bobs Tusa, $8.00.

Selma and the Long Struggle for Voting Rights, by Bruce Hartford. Address to the John Lewis Memorial "Good Trouble Vigil for Democracy" vigil. Oakland, CA. July 2021.

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired. (YouTube. Documentary by two high-school students.)

SNCC Anniversary Conference. Video record of the conference speeches, presentations, freedom singing, and panel discussions. 38 DVDs available individually or as a collection. Can be obtained from: California Newsreel.

SNCC & Freedom Summer, Freedom School series by SpadeWork Community. 2 hour discussion with Zoharah Simmons and Charles Payne. 2021.

Stand for Freedom: The Life & Times of Willie B. Wazir Peacock 1:23 minutes
The story of Willie Peacock, one of the original SNCC field secretaries organzing in the Mississippi Delta. (YouTube video.)
     Excerpt emphasizing courage 7:13 minutes
     Excerpt on organizing 5:41 minutes
     Excerpt on the shooting in Greenwood 5:16 minutes

Stand-Ins: Standing for Civil Rights, 21 minutes. People's History in Texas documentary about nonviolent campaign against segregated theaters by University of Texas students. (YouTube video.)

Streets Of Greenwood, by Jack Willis and Ed Emshwiller, 1962. Documentary about SNCC's voter registration efforts in Greenwood MS. 20 minutes.

They Say I'm Your Teacher, nine minute video by Lucy Phenix about the Citizenship Schools (exerpted from the film You Got to Move: Stories of Change in the South.)

Traveling With Dr. King, by Sunnylands & Gandhi-King Institute for Nonviolence. 2019. Video remembrance by people who knew and worked closely with Dr. King.

Joan Trumpauer Oral History Interview (two hours), by John Dittmer, Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History & Culture. 2013. (Transcript)

Underground Railroad in Mexico, Video by the Colorline Project. 2004.

Voting rights protests Montgomery (raw footage), by newsmedia? police?, Silent.

The Way to Freedom: Selma and the Making of a Movement, by NPS, 2020. The story of courageous ordinary citizens — many of them teenagers — who successfully challenged racism, bigotry, and entrenched power in Selma, Alabama in the 1960s to gain the right to vote. Narrated by "unsung heroes" of the voting rights movement in Selma and Marion, Alabama.

Audio & Music  

Conscience for Change: Massey Lectures (Audo cassetes), by Martin Luther King. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1967. Four recorded lectures and a sermon by Dr. King. Analysis of race & poverty, justice in America, U.S. politics, and why he opposed the Vietnam War. (See The Trumpet of Conscience for book version.)

Fannie Lou Hamer: Roots of Her Activism. (History Channel) (Audio)

Freedom in the Air: The Civil Rights Movement in Song. Six part PBS radio series on 3 tape cassettes. May still be available from: MediaWorks, 7831 Woodmont Ave, #320, Bethesda MD 20814, 301.570.6339.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Songs of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.

A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King (Audio Cassette), by Martin Luther King, Peter Holloran (Editor), Clayborne Carson. Warner, 1998.

Long Walk to Freedom: Reunion Concert.

Lyrical Freedom Riders. Song. Can be hear and obtained from:

Mississippi Becomes a Democracy. Story of voter registration, Freedom Summer, and the MFDP challenge in Atlantic City.

Movement Soul (Various Artists). Audio CD (2003). Live Recordings of Songs and Sayings from the the Civil Rights movement at a peak time from 1963 and 1964.

SNCC: Discussion with Stokely Carmichael, Charlie Cobb, and Courtland Cox. Studs Terkel Radio Archive, July 23, 1965
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

SNCC RealAudio (SNCC 1960-1966) Includes:
    # John Lewis describes his experience on the Freedom Rides
    # Julian Bond talks about the formation of SNCC
    # Bob Moses describes the Greenwood Voter Registration Project
    # Fannie Lou Hamer talks about registering to vote
    # Fannie Lou Hamer sings
    # John Winters talks about sit-ins
    # The SNCC Freedom Singers: Hold On
    # The SNCC Freedom Singers: We Shall Overcome

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement. Two CD set. Can be obtained from: Smithsonian Folkways. $23. Introduction by Bernice Johnson Reagan. Contains many of the SNCC Freedom Singers recordings.

Voices of the Movement podcast with Jonathan Capehart (Washington Post). An audio podcast series that brings you the stories and reflections of Freedom Movement activists and their lessons on where we go from here. 2019.

We Shall Overcome, by Herb Boyd. Sourcebooks, 2004. Multimedia presentation of the Civil Rights Movement — text, pictures, and audio. Includes two audio CDs. ccc

Who Speaks for the Negro?. Archive of interviews including audio versions and copies of the correspondence, transcripts, and other printed materials.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?. Audio history of Civil Rights Movement in 5 Southern communities. Can be purchased from:

(Labor donated)