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Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower
2013, 75 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W141143
LIVING THINKERS: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BLACK WOMEN IN THE IVORY TOWER examines the intersection of race, class and gender for Black women professors and administrators working in U.S. colleges and universities today. Through their diverse narratives, from girlhood to the present, Black women from different disciplines share experiences that have shaped them, including segregated schooling as children, and the trials, disappointments and triumphs encountered in Academia. Though more than 100 years have passed since the doors to higher education opened for Black women, their numbers as faculty members are woefully low and for many still, the image of Black women as intellectuals is incomprehensible. And while overtly expressed racism, sexism and discrimination have declined, their presence is often still often unacknowledged. Through frank and sometimes humorous conversations, this documentary interrogates notions of education for girls and women and the stereotypes and traditions that affect the status of Black women both in and out of the Academy. A perfect companion film for any classroom discussion on the intersection of racism, sexism and/or feminism.


BlackStar Film Festival, Audience Choice Award for Documentary

  • Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
  • Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

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    “These thoughtful and nuanced studies should be mandatory viewing for every department chair and administrator in academia. There is so much to learn, and we have so far to go.”
    Leo Garofalo
    Dir., Ctr for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, Connecticut College

    “LIVING THINKERS reveals the trials, the disappointments and the triumphs of becoming Black women professors in the U.S.”
    Empower Magazine

    "The documentary pushes us to consider the myriad issues of race, racial identity, class, and gender roles in a way that is much needed."
    Lori Baynard, Eastern University,
    Evangelicals for Social Action

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    Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower 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 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