Whose Streets?, Tell Them We Are Rising, and The Rape of Recy Taylor also contending
Step is jumping back into the awards mix.
The film by Amanda Lipitz -- about a step dance team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women -- earned an NAACP Image Awards nomination Monday for best documentary film. Step focuses on three high school seniors who negotiate the pressures of getting into college, all while working hard to win the city's most prestigious step competition,
The girls give me such hope. I cry when I talk about them.
Step's competition for the NAACP Image Award includes I Called Him Morgan, directed by Kasper Collin. It tells the story of jazz musician Lee Morgan who achieved great renown before his untimely and tragic death at age 33.
Documentary veteran Stanley Nelson earned a nomination for his film Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities. Nelson has chronicled the African-American experience and the Civil Rights Movement in Freedom Riders and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.
Also earning an Image Award nomination was Nancy Buirski's film The Rape of Recy Taylor, about an African-American woman who was gang raped by young white men in Alabama in 1944. She found the courage to pursue justice against formidable odds, with the assistance of Rosa Parks.
A more contemporary story of justice and civil rights -- Sabaah Folayan's Whose Streets? -- also claimed a nomination. The director tells the story of protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, at the hands of a white police officer. Folayan also explores the media narratives that grew out of news coverage of the unrest, which she argues distorted the lived experience of people on the ground.
In the Best Documentary - Television category, the NAACP Image Awards nominated five programs:
>Birth of a Movement (PBS)
>Black Love (OWN)
>The 44th President: In His Own Words (History)
>The Defiant Ones (HBO)
>What the Health (AUM Films and Media + First Spark Media)
The NAACP Image Awards will be presented in Pasadena, California on January 15, 2018. Cable network TV One will broadcast the ceremony.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.