An Explorer of Black History’s Uncharted Terrain
FOR some people, filmmaking is a lifelong dream. For Stanley Nelson, it began as more of a situational thing, a response to time and place. The time was the late 1960s and early ’70s, the place to be avoided was Vietnam, the refuge was film school at the City University of New York. “It was kind of my motive to stay in school no matter what, you know what I’m saying?”
In some ways Mr. Nelson, whose graying hair is the only thing that betrays his 59 years, has been in school ever since. An accomplished director and producer of documentaries, primarily for television — his latest film, “Freedom Riders,” makes its debut on Monday night as part of the PBS series “American Experience” — he has spent his career exploring the byways of black history and culture, and passing along the stories he finds.
“I feel like I’m trying to tell African-American audiences something they haven’t heard,” he said, “because I feel like if I tell African-American audiences something new about their history, then it’s definitely going to be new for white folks too.
“In some ways,” he continued, “I’m trying not to be that guy in ‘Tarzan’ who interprets the drums for Tarzan. I don’t want to be that person.”
comments powered by Disqus
- Kissinger Memo from 1972: Make the North Vietnamese think Nixon and I are crazy
- How Much U.S. History Do Americans Actually Know? Less Than You Think.
- Ice cream cone named after Adolf Hitler on sale in India sparks anger in Germany
- Expressing Outrage over Attacks on Cultural Heritage of Iraq, General Assembly Unanimously Adopts Resolution Calling for Urgent Action
- Isis Palmyra demolition has begun with ancient God Lion statue destroyed
- Robert S. Wistrich, Scholar of Anti-Semitism, Dies at 70
- NYT hosts debate including Eric Foner: How Americans should remember Reconstruction
- William Leuchtenburg says historians and the media have been too hard on Obama
- Hugh Ambrose, historian who helped develop WWII Museum, dead at 48
- Historian discounts claim that Churchill and other British PM's were gay