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Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders
2002, 60 minutes, Color/BW, DVD
Order No. W04825
In 1965, when three women walked into the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C., they had come a very long way. Neither lawyers nor politicians, they were ordinary women from Mississippi,and descendants of African slaves. They had come to their country’s capital seeking civil rights, the first black women to be allowed in the senate chambers in nearly 100 years. A missing chapter in our nation’s record of the Civil Rights movement, this powerful documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it – and emerged as its grassroots leaders. Their living testimony offers a window into a unique moment when the founders’ promise of freedom and justice passed from rhetoric to reality for all Americans. Through moving interviews and powerful archival footage, STANDING ON MY SISTERS' SHOULDERS weaves a story of commitment, passion and perseverance and tells the story of the women fought for change in Mississippi and altered the course of American history forever.


  • Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO)
  • Pensacola Film and Video Festival – Best Documentary
  • Pan African Film Festival – Best Documentary
  • Savannah Film and Video Festival – Special Jury Prize
  • Atlanta Film Festival - Audience Award
  • African American Women in Cinema Film Festival - Audience Award
  • Long Island Film Expo - Humanitarian Award
  • Dances with Films - Audience Award
  • New Orleans Film Festival
  • Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
  • Women in the Director’s Chair
  • USA Film Festival
  • Big Muddy Film Festival
  • Sedona International Film Festival

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    “**** Editor’s choice. Highly recommended…a powerful must-see slice of American life.”
    T. Keogh
    Video Librarian

    “A classic portrait of the women who risked their lives to achieve Civil Rights for all Americans…a film every American should see and never forget.”
    William Ferris, PhD
    Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

    "A moving, must-see film of courageous Black women fighting for (and winning) their families' constitutional rights...a truly inspirational portrait."
    Jacqueline Bobo
    Prof. Of Women's Studies and Black Studies, Univ. of CA

    "If you can show just one film on the Civil Rights Movement, this should be the one. An exquisite tool for high school and college teachers of history, women's studies, African American studies, and related subjects. Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hammer, Unita Blackwell, and countless others at last get the recognition they deserve."
    Pricilla Murolo
    Prof. Of History and Director of the Women's History program, Sarah Lawrence

    “A powerful and moving film about ordinary women armed with sheer determination…”
    Jennifer Moffet
    Jackson Free Press

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    Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us