There is a new documentary by Lewellyn Smith, Vincent Brown and Christine Herbes-Sommers, that should be of interest to scholars and students who want to learn about the early, anthropological study of race. The film takes a look at the career of Melville J. Herskovits, the pioneering Jewish American anthropologist of African Studies and controversial intellectual who established the first African Studies Center at an American university and authored, “The Myth of the Negro Past.” The filmmakers weave together a nuanced discussion of Jewish exile and immigration along with African and African American culture and identity. Here’s a short (3:15) clip:
The film is a co-production of Vital Pictures and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Executive Producer for ITVS Sally Jo Fifer, and is distributed by California Newsreel. It’s 57 minutes long, so it’s a good length for use in the classroom. Really fascinating, highly recommended.