Fascinating DVD Celebrates Black Paris History


Blue Lions Films and Walking the Spirit Tours of Black Paris have launched a groundbreaking DVD that showcases pioneering African Americans and their remarkable achievements in Paris in the early 20th century. “When African Americans Came To Paris” includes six compelling videos that blend rare archival images and film, thoughtful-provoking commentary by experts, and exceptional storytelling.

New York, New York (PRWEB) January 04, 2013

Never before have the astounding accomplishments of early African Americans in Paris been assembled and beautifully told in one easily accessible DVD. "When African Americans Came To Paris" is an enlightening tribute to artists, musicians, soldiers, and intellectuals whose talents were rebuffed in their homeland but celebrated and rewarded abroad.

Featured are:

-- W.E.B. Dubois and his pioneering photo exhibit on middle-class African Americans at the 1900 Paris Exposition.
-- Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African American painter to attain international renown.
-- The Harlem Hellfighters, the much-decorated infantry regiment which fought under World War I French Army command.
-- Lt. James Reese Europe, who, as the leader of the Harlem Hellfighters' band, introduced jazz to Europe.
-- Jazz in Paris after World War I, when the African American invention of jazz and their neighborhood of Harlem in Montmartre became all the rage in the 1920s.
-- Lois Mailou Jones, Augusta Savage, and Nancy Elizabeth Prophet: the challenges and successes of three women artists in the art-crazed Montparnasse of 1920s and 1930s.

Each piece runs 4 to 7 minutes. Each of the six stand-alone stories fascinate with thought-provoking commentary by scholars and artists. Contributors include University of California Berkeley's Tyler Stovall, the author of Paris Noir; Columbia University Jazz Institute founder Robert O'Meally; art scholars Theresa Leininger-Miller and Richard Powell; Marcus Bruce, the author of "Henry O. Tanner, A Spiritual Biography", Film and African-American Studies scholar Terri Francis of Yale University; Columbia University cultural historian Brent Hayes Edwards; and renowned Paris-based artist and novelist Barbara Chase-Riboud.

This DVD series is designed as a versatile educational tool for learning environments and for at home enjoyment. The short length and rich content make each segment ideal for inclusion into courses on art, music, history, literature, politics, and social studies. A comprehensive Educator's Guide - packed with lesson plans and supplementary material - is available to enable anyone wishing to make an informed and valuable presentation to all age groups and backgrounds.

“With this engaging DVD, Blue Lions Films and Walking the Spirit Tours of Black Paris are furthering a common goal to make African American history in Paris common knowledge,” says Julia Browne, the CEO and founder of Walking the Spirit Tours. “We want young people to feel inspired by the astounding achievements made in this idolized city. We want Francophiles of all cultures to connect to some of the greatest moments of cultural exchange between America and France.”

A vibrant African American community still exists in Paris. This series reveals why France, and especially Paris, has attracted generations of African Americans for well over a century. “When African-Americans come to Paris, they discover the terms by which they want to define themselves,” explains Bates College professor Marcus Bruce in the segment on Henry O. Tanner.

“When African Americans Came To Paris” was produced, directed, and edited by Paris-based New Yorker Joanne Burke, the CEO of Blue Lion Films, Inc. It began as an offshoot of the company's hour-length documentary-in-progress called "Paris Noir, African Americans in the City of Light". Joanne Burke's long, high-level career includes editing three feature films for Sidney Lumet, the Maysles Brothers' feature documentary "Gimme Shelter" on the Rolling Stones, and her own award-winning film "Mary Lou Williams: Music on my Mind", about the great jazz pianist and composer. Her husband David Burke, a former "60 Minutes" writer/ producer, is the writer for all her films. They are currently editing the second in this series.

Julia Browne, the CEO and founder of Walking the Spirit Tours - Black Paris & Beyond, pioneered Black heritage tourism in Paris, in 1994. Through indepth yet entertaining walking and bus tours, personalized itineraries, and the Spirit of Black Paris blogletter, Walking The Spirit Tours connects travelers to the little known Black past and presence. As a certified France Specialist, Julia Browne also provides full trip planning services that blend Afrocentric discovery with exploration of France's delights. She is the key consultant, promoter, and distributor of the “When African Americans Came to Paris” DVD and is featured in the Harlem in Montmartre segment while giving one of the lively historical tours she created.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2013/1/prweb10287594.htm