Filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities 2018 by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s new feature documentary Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be broadcast on the PBS’ Independent Lens on February 19, 2018.
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the PBS documentary will dig into the significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in American history, culture, and national identity, 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 have influenced generations of Americans and shaped the landscape of the country. They played an enormous part in propelling the epic journey toward liberation for Black people in the United States. Though much of their history was eclipsed by the turbulence of the 1960s, HBCUs played a central role in the shaping of Black life, creating a Black middle class, and dismantling segregation. Through this rich tapestry of archival photos, letters, diaries, home movies, a variety of never before seen or heard media, and memorable testimonials, Nelson brings into sharp focus the pivotal role of their history. The documentary utilizes interviews with scholars and others; dramatic readings of personal accounts, letters and diaries, extensive archival images in the form of photographs, footage, home movies, newsreels, dramatic re-enactments, original shot footage, and music; archival and original. 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 says. Adds 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.”
Veteran documentary filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, revealed his 2017-18 project via Twitter on February 16, 2016.
Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madam C.J. Walker
(1989 his debut film, wrote and produced)
Freedom Bags (1990)
Schools for A New Society (1993)
Puerto Rico: A Right to Choose (1994)
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1998)
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind (2000)
Running the Campaign for City Council (2002)
The Murder of Emmett Till (2003)
A Place of Our Own (2004)
Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise (2004)
Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice (2005)
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)
CNN Presents High Stakes (2006)
We Shall Remain (Part 5) – “Wounded Knee” (2009)
Immigration Part 1: Battleground Arizona (2009)
Immigration Part II: Raid in New Bedford (2009)
Immigration Part III: Guest Workers in the Gulf (2009)
Arise: the Battle over Affirmative Action (2010)
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)
Tell Them We Are Rising (2018)
Stanley Earl Nelson Jr. (born June 7, 1951) is an American director and producer of documentary films known for examining the history and experiences of African Americans. Among his notable films are Freedom Riders (2011), Wounded Knee (2009), Jonestown: The Life & Death of People’s Temple (2006), Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice (2005), A Place of Our Own (2004), The Murder of Emmett Till (2003), and The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords (1998). Nelson was born in New York City in 1951, son of Stanley Nelson Sr. and A’lelia (Ransom) Nelson, and brother to Lynn, Jill and Ralph. His sister Jill Nelson is a prominent African-American journalist and novelist. Nelson attended New Lincoln School, a private Manhattan school, from kindergarten through high school. He graduated from the Leonard Davis Film School at the City College of New York with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in 1976. After graduation, Nelson earned an apprenticeship with the documentary filmmaker William Greaves. In 1989, Nelson wrote and produced his debut film, entitled Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madam C.J. Walker. The film was named Best Production of the Decade by the Black Filmmaker Foundation, and won the CINE Golden Eagle Award. Nelson soon found a job at PBS, working as a television producer with Bill Moyers for the TV series Listening to America. His next film releases included the Emmy Award-nominated documentary The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1999), and Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind (2000), an award winner at the 2000 Black International Cinema Festival. Nelson has made several productions for the Smithsonian Institution, including a tribute to African-American artists, entitled Free Within Ourselves, and Climbing Jacob’s Ladder. Nelson received fellowships at American Film Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Columbia University. He received a 2002 MacArthur Fellows Program Fellowship. He was on the selection panel for three years for the Fulbright fellowship in film. In 2003, he was honored the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Directing for Non-Fiction Programming for The American Experience (1988) (PBS), for the episode The Murder Of Emmett Till. Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize; the George Forster Peabody award. In 2004, he received an honor by winning the Educational Video Center’s Excellence in Community Service Award. On May 4, 2011, Stanley Nelson and his film Freedom Riders were featured by Oprah Winfrey in a special program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Nelson directed the 2015 documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the first of what is to be a three-part series of documentaries about African-American history entitled America Revisited. Stanley Nelson is co-founder and Executive Director of Firelight Media, a non-profit which provides technical education and professional support to emerging documentarians. He is co-founder of ‘Firelight Films’, the for-profit documentary production company.
Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com
Sources: Bio-Wikipedia, Film-several various