At the MIT Media Lab, researcher Joy Buolamwini discovered that facial recognition software could not detect her dark skin tone until she put on a white mask.



A charismatic leader at a job-training program mentors four Chicagoans during their precarious journey from homelessness, addiction, and incarceration to stable employment.



For one week in February 1968, Johnny Carson gave up his chair to Harry Belafonte, the first time an African American had hosted a late-night TV show for a whole week.


BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

90 min

Sanchez's life unfolds in this captivating documentary about her contribution to the world of poetry, her singular place in the Black Arts Movement, and her leadership role in African American culture over the last half-century.

DIR Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon


Black Boys

95 min

Black Boys exposes the dehumanization of Black men and boys in America at the intersection of sports, education, and criminal justice in a nation still struggling to rectify its past. The film is a rare glimpse into the emotional landscape of Black males, illuminating their full humanity, vulnerability, and resilience. 

DIR. Sonia Lowman      


Coded Bias

90 min

At the MIT Media Lab, researcher Joy Buolamwini discovered that facial recognition software could not detect her dark skin tone until she put on a white mask. Her experiments and research pointed out serious inefficiencies at some of the biggest technology companies around the globe.

DIR Shalini Kantayya

Sponsored by: Northwestern Mutual, Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Center for the Advancement of the Humanities at Marquette University, Manpowergroup


Dope is Death

78 min

With blight ravaging New York City in the 1970s, the Young Lords and Black Panthers fought for radical change in their communities. Through the leadership of Dr. Mutulu Shakur—Tupac Shakur’s stepfather—these activists created the first acupuncture detoxification program in the United States.

DIR Mia Donovan


Growing Up Milwaukee

115 min

Behind every statistic is a story. Three inner-city youth growing up in Milwaukee struggle with the daily dilemma of growing up Black and avoiding becoming just another statistic.

DIR. Tyshun Wardlaw

AVAILABLE 2/22 - 2/28 ONLY ≫

The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X


51 min

In 1959, a 33-year-old minister from the Nation of Islam gains notoriety with his fiery rhetoric and keen intellect. His name is Malcolm X. Presented entirely through his speeches, newscasts, and rarely seen archival footage, The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X tells the story of the man who willingly put his life at risk to bring change and equality to black America.

DIR. Tom Jennings, David Tillman


Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back 

93 min

A portrait of the charismatic song-and-dance man from his tap-dancing childhood to his loving yet difficult relationship with superstar brother Gregory Hines. Ever battling the challenges of being a gay, black man in showbiz, Maurice shares his story with humor and grace.       

DIR John Carluccio

AVAILABLE 2/15 - 2/28 ONLY >>


80 min.

William Greaves’ long-lost film about the National Black Political Convention of 1972, when 10,000 Black politicians, activists, and artists went to Gary, Indiana, to forge a national unity platform in advance of the Republican and Democratic presidential conventions.

DIR William Greaves

Sponsored by: Molson Coors



93 min

A struggling Chicago artist finds herself at a crossroads in life, overwhelmed by changes and needing to make a critical decision in her relationship.

DIR Gregory Dixon

Sponsored by: UWM Sociocultural Programming, Madison365


The Outside Story

85 min

An introverted editor living a vertical life in his 2nd-floor apartment, Charles is always on deadline and in a rut. When he locks himself out of his building, he's forced to go horizontal and confront the world he's been avoiding in search of a way back inside.

DIR Casimir Nozkowski

Sponsored by: UWM Sociocultural Programming, Madison365


Pigeon Kings  

81 min

A revealing exploration of a subculture of men in South Central L.A. who train pigeons for the competitive sport of avian acrobatics. A former champion mentors an up-and-comer, as they prepare for the World Cup.

DIR Milena Pastreich


Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution

56 min

An hour-long documentary chronicling the historic civil rights struggle to desegregate American hospitals and secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans.

DIR Charles Burnett

Sponsored by: Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin


The Road Up

92 min

Jesse Teverbaugh is a charismatic leader at the job-training program where he mentors four Chicagoans during their precarious journey from homelessness, addiction, and incarceration to stable employment. The Road Up powerfully chronicles not only America’s unforgiving economic and social structures, but also the essential role that community, connection, hope, and love play in overcoming adversity.

DIR Greg Jacobs, Jon Siskel

Sponsored by: CUNA Mutual Group, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County in partnership with ManpowerGroup, Molson Coors, Morgan Stanley


The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show

75 min

For one week in February 1968, Johnny Carson gave up his chair to Harry Belafonte, the first time an African American had hosted a late-night TV show for a whole week.

DIR Yoruba Richen

Sponsored by: Molson Coors


Somewhere in the Middle

90 min

Four lovers find themselves caught in a tangle of intersecting relationships in this engaging, New York-set romantic drama that explores the ripple effects of love and obsession. Developed through a year-long improvisational process and alternating between three different perspectives, Somewhere in the Middle centers on a once-happy couple, whose marriage spirals into a series of emotionally messy affairs.

DIR Lanre Olabisi

Sponsored by: UWM Sociocultural Programming, Madison 365


That’s Wild     

62 min

An award-winning documentary that tells the inspiring journey of three underserved teenage boys from Atlanta who attempt to climb four 12,000 ft snow-capped peaks in the heart of the Colorado wilderness.

DIR Michiel Thomas


Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance

95 min

The story of Jazz Dance is a complex one, it goes to the very heart of humanity. This feature-length documentary on the lineage and future progressions of jazz dance aims to open up a conversation within the dance community to challenge established thoughts and bring to light opinions that may have been overlooked.

DIR Khadifa Wong

AVAILABLE 2/15 - 2/21 ONLY >>

(In)visible Portraits

80 min

(In)visble Portraits shatters the too-often invisible otherizing of Black women in America and reclaims the true narrative as told in their own words. Available Feb. 1-7 only.

DIR. Oge Egbuonu


Sylvie's Love

114 min

When a young woman meets an aspiring saxophonist in her father's record shop in 1950s Harlem, their love ignites a sweeping romance that transcends changing times, geography, and professional success.

DIR Eugene Ashe

Sponsored by: UWM Sociocultural Programming, Madison 365



Shorts: Special Events

In case you missed these short films featured as a part of our online conversations, we've provided additional access.

Kim I Am (dir. Ben Proudfoot)
A Fresh Perspective (dir. Aaron Hosé) 
The Torture Letters (dir. Laurence Ralph)
This Land (dirs. Whit Hassett, Chelsea Jolly)


Shorts Program #1: Emotional Health and Identity

68 min

An exploration of emotional health as it relates to modern racial, gender, and social identity.

Afro (dir. Jenn Shaw)
Black Unscripted (dir. Rachel Hardy) 
The Lost Astronaut (dir. Ben Proudfoot)
Sankofa.(dir. Princess Garrett)


Shorts Program #2: Black Love and Joy

68 min

Moving beyond familiar tropes of Black pain, these stories of familial and intimate partner relationships center what it means to love and be loved.

Wali & Zuri (dir. Derrick Woodyard) 
Pillars (dir. Haley Elizabeth Anderson)
Tender (dir. Felicia Pride)
Sonnie (dir. Samuel  Mirpoorian)
Junebug (dir. Winter Dunn)

Sponsored by: UWM Sociocultural Programming


Shorts Program #3: Black Arts and Culture

69 min

Losing (and finding) oneself in the cultural rhythms of Black life.

Larry from Gary (dir. Dan Rybicky)
Swing Man Blues (dir. Arielle C. Knight)
A Million Eyes (dir. Richard Raymond)


Shorts Program #4: HBCU Storytellers: 400 Years Later…’free-ish

90 min

400 Years Later…’free-ish was created to raise awareness about the 400 Year Commemoration of the first Africans that arrived in the US in 1619 and the continuing legacy of racial inequity that still exists today.

400 Years Later 'Free-ish - PART I: The Sankofa Journey
400 Years Later 'Free-ish - PART II: The Arrival
400 Years Later 'Free-ish - PART III: Confederate Monuments: Heritage or Hatred?
400 Years Later 'Free-ish - PART IV: Monuments That Heal


You've got questions? We've got answers.

Check out our How to Watch page for the most up-to-date information.