A panel of media experts discuss the media bias that perpetuates the stereotype of the black male. The participates attempt to challenge the conventional wisdom of black men.
Whereas news media, the so-called 'Fourth Estate,' often admittedly has succumbed to its own biases and perceptions as well as a need for entertainment and sensationalism in reporting on race, documentary filmmaking has taken on an increasingly important role in researching and untangling matters of race and bias. This panel will explore the ways in which we can challenge conventional wisdom about history and individual racial judgments in an age where bias, particularly racial bias, is harder to 'prove.'
Moderator Orlando Bagwell, Director JustFilms Initiative, Ford Foundation talks with Sarah Burns, Filmmaker, Central Park Five, Yusef Salaam, Innocent and Exonerated in the Central Park Jogger Case, Samuel Pollard, Filmmaker, Slavery by Another Name, and Khalil Muhammad, Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Orlando Bagwell is the new director of the documentary program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Bagwell is one of the foremost documentarians of his generation. His work represents some of the industry’s most influential films about the civil rights movement and the history of American race relations.
Sarah Burns is the author of The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding (Knopf, 2011) and, along with David McMahon and Ken Burns, the producer, writer and director of the documentary The Central Park Five, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. She is currently working on a film about the life and times of Jackie Robinson.
Sarah was born and raised in Walpole, New Hampshire. She graduated from Yale University in 2004 with a degree in American Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, David McMahon, and their daughter.
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ph.D. is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and a former associate professor of history at Indiana University. In late 2010 he was selected to take over the helm of the historic Schomburg Center, which is currently celebrating its 86th year. Dr. Muhammad, a native of Chicago’s South Side, is an award-winning author. His book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, published by Harvard University Press, won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies. As an academic, Dr. Muhammad is at the forefront of scholarship on the enduring link between race and crime that has shaped and limited opportunities for African Americans. He is now working on his second book, Disappearing Acts: The End of White Criminality in the Age of Jim Crow, which traces the historical roots of the changing demographics of crime and punishment so evident today.
Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has been featured in the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, The Guardian (UK) and Atlanta Journal Constitution, as well as on Bill Moyers and Company, CSPAN, National Public Radio and Pacifica. He has been an associate editor of The Journal of American History. And he currently serves on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration; the board of The Barnes Foundation; and the editorial board of Transition Magazine, published by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.
Khalil graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics in 1993. After working at Deloitte & Touche LLP, he received his Ph.D. in American History from Rutgers University in 2004, specializing in 20th-century U.S. and African-American history. He spent two years as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit criminal justice reform agency in New York City, before joining the faculty of Indiana University.
Sam Pollard is the editor of the Edward Norton feature length documentary, By The People: The Election of Barack Obama, airing on HBO. He served as documentary producer of Blackside production’s Eyes on the Prize II: American at the Racial Crosswords, and Co-Executive Producer/Producer of I’ll Make Me a World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. He directed Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun for American Masters. Pollard has also worked extensively on Spike Lee’s films, including When the Levees Broke. His productions have won multiple Emmy Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards, the George Polk Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the Pare Lorentz Award from the International Documentary Association. Pollard is also a Professor of Film Studies at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
Yusef Salaam was one of the "Central Park 5" convicted in the Central Park jogger case. His 1990 conviction for first-degree rape and robbery was vacated on December 19, 2002. He had served 6.5 years of a 5-10 year sentence and had already been released at that time.
Yusef Salaam sits on the Board of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the advisory Board for The Learn My History Foundation: dedicated to Youth Empowerment, Education and Change, and is the inspiration behind People United for Children.