Teaser: Stanley Nelson's 'Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities'

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April 20th 2017

Firelight Media Firelight Films

His most recent film, 2015's "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" now widely accessible on various home video formats, veteran documentary filmmaker, Stanley Nelson is now tackling a two-hour documentary and multimedia project that explores the pivotal role Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played in American history, culture, and national identity.

The first ever project of its kind on HBCUs, the work is titled "Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities." The film will feature the voices, photos, letters, diaries, home movies and a variety of never before seen or heard media that reveal this important aspect of collective American History, via the many stories from HBCU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The documentary will tell stories of Americans who would not be denied a higher education, demonstrating how the 150-year history of HBCUs has influenced generations of Americans and shaped the landscape of the country.

Nelson is producing the feature documentary via his Firelight Films production company, and directing alongside fellow documentarian Marco Williams.

“One of the goals of the ’Tell Them We Are Rising’ project is to create a space for collaborative storytelling," Williams said in a previous statement.

Added Nelson: “To tell this important and complex story, it is essential that our documentary highlights personal accounts, letters, diaries, photographs, and even home movies of the people who have lived the HBCU experience."

“Tell Them We Are Rising” will be broadcast on the PBS' Independent Lens in 2017. Although, like previous Nelson films, I'd expect a limited theatrical release first. Regardless, this is most certainly a significant work to make note of, and watch for next year.

A teaser for the upcoming feature documentary follows below:

by Shadow and Act on April 20th 2017
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