Skip to Main Content

American Ethnic Groups / Ethnicity

a Guide to Resources


Temple University faculty and students have access to two large video and DVD collections: 1) the CLA Ed Tech Center collection located in AL-21 Anderson Hall , and 2) the One Stop Assistance Desk, located on the first floor of Charles Library.

The CLA ED Tech Center collection is a teaching resource for faculty and TAs; faculty are allowed to reserve and check out video, audio, and slide resources. Students are not permitted to checkout materials but may view visual materials related to their coursework in selected study spaces at the Center.

Materials from the Charles One Stop Assistance Desk can be checked out by anyone with a Temple ID for a period of 7 days. All videos and DVDs from both collections are listed in LIBRARY SEARCH. Videos or DVDs in either collection can be located by title , or by using the MEDIA search tab available from the main search screen.

Both collections contain documentaries and feature films about ethnic Americans.  


  • 500 nations / a Tig Productions presents in association with RCS Films & TV and Majestic Films and Television International ; a Jack Leustig film ; written by Jack Leustig ... [et al.] ; produced by Roberta Grossman ; produced and directed by Jack Leustig.
    "500 Nations is an eight-part documentary that looks back at life in North America before the arrival of the Europeans, then follows the epic struggles of Indian Nations as the continent is reshaped by contact"--Booklet.
  • African American lives / a film by Kunhardt Productions ; executive producers, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., William R. Grant, Peter W. Kunhardt ; written by Henry Louis Gates. Jr. ; series producers, Graham Judd, Leslie D. Farrell ; a production of Kunhardt Productions, Inc. and Thirteen/ WNET New York.
    A compelling combination of storytelling and science, this four-part series uses genealogy, oral histories, family stories and DNA to trace roots of several accomplished African Americans down through American history and back to Africa.
  • Africans in America : America's journey through slavery / produced for PBS by WGBH Boston ; produced and directed by Orlando Bagwell, Susan Bellows ; writer, Steve Fayer.
    Nearly ten years in the making, this landmark six-hour film series exposes the truth about American slavery through surprising revelations, dramatic recreations, rare archival photography and riveting first-person accounts. It helps define the reality of slavery's past through the insightful commentary of a wide range of voices including General Colin Powell, authors John Edgar Wideman and Barry Unsworth and leading scholars. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett it offers unparalleled understanding - from slavery's birth in the early 1600s through the violent onset of civil war in 1860.
  • American cultural history : African Americans / [produced by] Tallahassee, Fl. :, 2005.
    A compilation of five instructional films on the subject of African Americans.
  • American cultural history : racism / [produced by] Tallahassee, FL :, c2005.
    (1) Don't be a sucker: Uses the example of Nazi Germany to drive home the point that American's should not be fooled by people who wage a war against minorities. It warns them not to be "a sucker" and to live in harmony despite differences of color, race or religion. (2) Integration, Report 1: Historical footage of the Civil Rights Movement in 1959 and 1960 including footage of rallies staged in Montgomery, Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. (3) Let us break bread together: A promotional film on Detroit as the host city for the 1968 Olympics showing views of highways, automobile manufacturing, a diverse population and social activities, all shot prior to the city's economic decline.
  • American cultural history : cultural kaleidoscope / [produced by] Tallahassee, FL :, c2005.
    This DVD presents a pictorial review of how some ethnic groups have adapted to the American way of living, while clinging onto their own customs and traditions.
  • American gypsy : a stranger in everybody's land / [presented by] Little Dust Productions ; a documentary by Jasmine Dellal. Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning, 1999.
    America is home to one million Gypsies, or Rom, whose rich culture has long been mysterious to outsiders. A flamboyant Romani leader named Jimmy Marks -- defying widely held stereotypes and his own people's code of secrecy -- invites the viewer into this world when it comes under threat. He leads us through the history of his people through civil rights courts, Las Vegas casinos and beyond.
  • Ancestors in the Americas [pt. 1]. Coolies, sailors, settlers : voyage to the new world / a film by Loni Ding. San Francisco, CA : Center for Educational Telecommunications, 2000, c2001.
    The untold story of how Asians--Filipino, Chinese, Asian Indian--first arrived in the Americas before the Revolutionary War. This film crosses centuries and oceans from the 16th century Manila-Acapulco trade, to the Opium War, to 19th century plantation coolie labor in South America and the Caribbean.
  • Asian/Asian-American perspectives on modern dance / Artworks Video presents ; produced and directed by Douglas Rosenberg.
    Choreographers Kumiko Kimoto, Sun Ock Lee, Mel Wong and moderator Peggy Choy discuss how Asian and Asian-American issues and identity shape their work. Discussion is intercut with excerpts from work performed by each choreographer.
  • At the time of whaling / Alaska Native Heritage Film Project ; by Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling.
    Presents the communal life of the Eskimo people of Gambell, Alaska, a Yup'ik-speaking community on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. Shows their relationship with the ice through a whaling expedition.

Feature Films:

  • All-American girl : the complete series. [United States] : Touchstone Pictures and Television : Shout! Factory ; New York, NY : distributed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc., 2006.
    A television show about a very Westernized Korean-American girl delightfully at odds with her traditional but screwy family in San Francisco.
  • The autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman / produced by Robert W. Christiansen and Rick Rosenberg ; screenplay by Tracy Keenan Wynn ; directed by John Korty. [S.l.] : Classic Media ; New York : Manufactured and distributed by Sony Wonder, [2002?]
    Miss Jane Pittman is celebrating her 110th birthday. As the civil rights movement heats up, Miss Jane, a former slave, recounts her memories of the black experience, from picking potatoes on a Southern plantation and fetching water for soldiers in the Civil War, to her views on the current and turbulent equal rights movement.
  • Avalon / Tri-Star Pictures presents a Baltimore Pictures production ; produced by Mark Johnson and Barry Levinson ; written and directed by Barry Levinson.
    The story of several generations of a family, from the arrival of immigrant Sam Krichinsky in the suburb of Baltimore called Avalon, down through his children and grandchildren. The family goes from poverty to prosperity and the world changes around them, but their love and humor hold the family together.
  • The Immigrant
    Charlie Chaplin's 1917 short comedy, featured in Au revoir les enfants.

Use LIBRARY SEARCH to find recent additions and other films of interest.

Subject Specialist

Profile Photo
Caitlin Shanley
she / her