The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1999)

Jan 25, 1999 | Documentary, History

Director: Stanley Nelson

Writer(s): Jill Nelson, Stanley Nelson, Lou Potter, Marcia Smith

Starring: George Barbour, Timuel Black, Frank Bolden, Wallace Burney, Earl Calloway, Chester Commodore, Evelyn Cunningham, Phyllis Garland, Dora Harris Glasco, Walter Gordon, James Grossman, Charles Teenie Harris, Vera Jackson, Vernon Jarrett, Robert Lavelle, Edna Chappell McKenzie, Joe Morton, Christopher Reed, Jane Rhodes, Edward Abie Robinson, Patrick Washburn

Synopsis: THE BLACK PRESS: SOLDIERS WITHOUT SWORDS, highlights a powerful and engaging account of American history that has been virtually forgotten: the story of the pioneering black newspapermen and women who gave voice to black America.

From facilitating the migration of Southern Blacks to northern cities to honoring Black soldiers in World War II, the Black press documented people who were otherwise ignored. SOLDIERS WITHOUT SWORDS weaves music by Grammy award-winning jazz artist Ron Carter with archival footage, photographs and interviews with editors, photographers and journalists of the Black Press.

The film is narrated by stage, screen and television actor Joe Morton. Several of the key reporters, publishers and photo journalists of the black press were interviewed for the film shortly before their deaths, including one of the last on camera interviews with John Sengstacke, publisher of the only daily black newspaper still in production, the Chicago Defender; and with the late Charles “Teenie” Harris, retired staff photographer with the Pittsburgh Courier.

Release Date: January 1999 (USA) | Length: 86 min | Genre: History | MPAA Rating: NR