The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights documentary footage collection
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is an Oakland, California based organization that works to advance racial and economic justice for low-income people and people of color. The center opened in 1996 and has closed five youth prisons in California and created a statewide advocacy network for families of incarcerated youth as part of their larger goal to break the cycle of mass incarceration, particularly in communities of color. The Ella Baker Center supports community rebuilding and reinvestment by advocating for the reallocation of state and federal resources from prisons towards education and employment opportunities for the communities most affected by the system of mass incarceration in the United States.
In collaboration with WITNESS, The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights has produced two documentaries: Books Not Bars (2001) and System Failure: Violence, Abuse and Neglect in the California Youth Authority (2004). Named for the organization’s campaign to close California’s youth prisons, Books Not Bars is geared toward educating youth about the growth of the U.S. prison system and the human rights abuses which occur within the criminal justice system. The documentary chronicles the youth-led movement against the U.S. prison industry and aims to mobilize audiences to participate in youth activism, focusing specifically on campaigns that were working in opposition to a proposed youth jail in Alameda, California. System Failure highlights the disparity between expenditures on prisons and education in the state of California as well as the ways in which such discrepancies in spending disproportionately affect communities of color. The documentary focuses specifically on the abuses experienced by those imprisoned by the California Youth Authority and the effects of such abuses thereafter. Both documentaries utilize the footage from this collection, which includes recordings of political protests, teach-ins, interviews, and other community events, many involving the Bay Area youth activist organization The Third Eye Movement.
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. “Ella Baker Center for Human Rights: About Us,” http://ellabakercenter.org/about/about-us (Accessed July 22, 2014)
This collection is comprised of one series, Raw Footage, which consists of seventeen digitized videos that document various activities focused on police brutality, youth, and the U.S. prison industry. The raw video footage includes political protests, rallies, teach-ins, conferences, interviews, court hearings, and community events taking place in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998-1999. The videos are organized in chronological order. Titles provided by WITNESS.
Standard copyright restrictions apply.
Cite as: [Name of video], Human Rights Documentation Initiative, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.
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