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The Long Walk To Freedom

A story of 12 ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things in the Civil Rights movement.

A printer-friendly version of this page 29 minutes
Directed by Tom Weidlinger
Produced by Ruth Morgan
A Moira Productions film in association with Community Works/California

"A richly textured, deeply moving account of the civil rights movement." Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, Professor of History, Saint Mary's College of California
From the award-winning producer of A DREAM IN HANOI and BOYS WILL BE MEN comes this 30-minute documentary about how 12 ordinary people, from very different backgrounds, came to accomplish extraordinary deeds; deeds which changed the face of the nation. Together with tens of thousands of other Americans, they joined the Civil Rights movement to protest racial inequality, segregation, and discrimination in the 1960s.

THE LONG WALK TO FREEDOM demonstrates to today's young people that the struggle for civil rights, justice, and equality is indeed a "long walk" - an ongoing challenge requiring the participation of successive generations. And it illustrates how ordinary individuals can become involved in social change.

Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2004     Copyright Date: 2003
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-046-4     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-045-6

"Mining a rich vein of the past, The Long Walk... reflects the history-making events of the 1960s civil rights era and the very personal journeys of the people who were an integral part of it."
Annie Nakao, San Francisco Chronicle

"The Long Walk to Freedom is a richly textured, deeply moving account of the civil rights movement that awakens viewers to the power and dignity of collective nonviolent action...a powerful antidote to alienation, cynicism and apathy, and a compelling invitation to become part of the solution...The activist's stories, supplemented with archival film footage, music, and photographic images, do more than inspire hope. They are skillfully interwoven to create an eight-chapter chronological history of the civil rights movement...As a package, The Long Walk to Freedom is an invaluable resource for teachers who wish to inspire civic involvement, critical thinking, values clarification, and active engagement with the past. The collection, while designed for high school students, can be adapted to younger and older audiences, and used in a wide variety of courses including U.S. history, African American history, social studies, U.S. government, and civics."
Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, Professor of History specializing in civil rights movement history at Saint Mary's College of California

"I was captivated by the images, the words, the rhythms and the juxtapositions of this complex and thoughtful piece...
The format and the organization of ideas of the 30-minute documentary make the information accessible to a wide spectrum of people -- from average eighth graders in American history courses to their high school counterparts, eleventh graders, studying the same subjects at a higher level. Students in language arts courses, both at the middle and high school level, can also supplement or frame their studies of particular books...Most importantly, in my view, this DVD allows teachers to re-introduce themselves to a subject that is often reduced to a timeline or a one dimensional narrative, albeit one that highlights 'heroism' in the face of long-term unfairness and mistreatment. The interactive DVD allows for a new kind of engagement with the material -- so that questions and conversations can be sparked during the study itself, and again, perhaps more importantly, so that the social history of individuals, the choices they faced and made, take on a centrality in what people are exploring...
I highly recommend the use of this resource for students, teachers, and general community members who wish to school themselves on a most important aspect of US History -- and on ordinary people who did extraordinary things that continue to shape our lives today and in the future."
Jack Weinstein, Director, Facing History and Ourselves

"[The Long Walk to Freedom] serves up a respectable primer, enhanced with vivid specifics on the voting-rights marches and the uphill battle of hardships faced by the thousands that this film's dozen speakers represent, as familiar stock footage is mixed with moving black-and-white photographs...Recommended"
Video Librarian

"Highly Recommended. The Long Walk to Freedom is an excellent presentation and overview of the civil rights movement that should be part of high school curriculum libraries and academic libraries with teacher education programs. It may also find a home in libraries with large African American history and oral history collections."
Educational Media Reviews Online

"Overall this is a high quality purchase for schools needing additional resources in this area."
Library Media Collection

"Outstanding... [The Long Walk to Freedom] will be welcome in academic and school librari

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DVD Features
The DVD contains the following special features: * 120 pages of text and photographs that describe 16 key events in the history of the Civil Rights Movement * Brief video autobiographies of the 12 civil rights activists featured in the documentary * A comprehensive 43-page Teacher's Guide, in Adobe Acrobat PDF format for easy viewing, on the DVD-ROM portion of this disc. The guide is organized by the chapters in the documentary. For each chapter there are the following: section on teacher preparation, with suggestions for reviewing the DVD; list of relevant materials and resources; discussion questions; classroom activity; homework/critical thinking activity; ESL activity; quiz.

The Long Walk web site
Study guide

Awards and Festivals
The Chris Statuette, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
CINE Golden Eagle Award
National Association for Multicultural Education Conference

African-American Studies
American Studies
Civil Rights
Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
Multicultural Studies
Race and Racism
Social Justice
Women's Studies

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