Scholar for Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Documentary Description: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities spans 170 years of American history. The two-hour film and multi-platform project by award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, explores the pivotal role HBCUs have played in the ascent of African-Americans and their families – from slavery to the present day. The film also examines the impact HBCUs have had on American history, culture, and national identity.
Featured in Shaw Rising: The Story of Shaw University, the oldest college for African-Americans in the South
Drawing on her ongoing research, deGregory served as an expert on the history and culture of historically black colleges and universities in this documentary celebrating the Shaw’s sesquicentennial.
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School Choice: deGregory Featured in “Choice or Chance?: American Graduate-NPT Reports” Documentary
Contextualizing a contemporary debate with historical realities, Dr. deGregory explores how desegregation impacts perceptions of school choice in communities of color.
Documentary Description: The ability of parents to send their children to schools of their choice is at the heart of modern-day school reform efforts. But increasingly, public school choice has become a divisive concept— splitting communities among those who want students to attend any school that fits their needs and interests, and those who want a return to neighborhood schools.
Sharecopping: deGregory Featured in “Reconstruction: A Moment in the Sun” Documentary
Drawing on her dissertation research, Dr. deGregory explores the catch-22 of sharecropping as often the only option for Tennessee freedmen in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Documentary Description: The end of the Civil War was not the end of hostilities between North and South. Years of fighting over how to reunite the divided country and what role millions of newly freed African Americans would play still lay ahead. Tennessee’s tumultuous Reconstruction era is a riveting tale of revenge, domestic terror, and broken promises.
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Freedmen Found Avenues to Education: deGregory Featured in Emmy Award-Winning “Looking Over Jordan” Documentary
Drawing on her dissertation research, Dr. deGregory talks about the critical role of education in the life and times of Tennessee freedman. Topics of interest include the important role of literacy in the lives of blacks, both free and slave, the murder of Central Tennessee College student Julia Hayden as well as the extraordinary contributions of the Original Fisk University Jubilee Singers.
Documentary Description: The Civil War began as a means of preserving the Union. But to nearly four million African Americans, it held a much more personal promise. As Northern armies swept south, self-emancipated slaves sought refuge behind Union lines. Determined to claim basic human rights, former slaves turned soldiers helped defeat their oppressors. But the road to freedom would be a rocky one. Despite continued oppression and violence, African Americans worked tirelessly to rebuild families torn apart by slavery, to educate themselves, and to claim their rightful place as American Citizens. Through in-depth interviews with Civil War scholars, historical reenactments, and moving songs of faith and hope that made life bearable, LOOKING OVER JORDAN: AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND THE WAR highlights the African American experience in Tennessee during and after the war.
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Keeping the Ella Sheppard Moore Story Alive: deGregory Featured in Emmy Award-Winning “Civil War Songs and Stories” Documentary
A Fisk alumna and black college historian, Dr. deGregory intimately knows the story of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers troupe. As a student and researcher, she spent thousands of hours in the Fisk Special Collections Library with archivist the late Beth Madison Howse, the great-granddaughter of Ella Sheppard Moore. deGregory draws on these rich personal experiences as well as her professional training to contribute to the Nashville Public Television documentary Civil War Songs and Stories.
Documentary Description: Produced to mark the 150th anniversary of the conflict, Midsouth Regional Emmy Award nominated CIVIL WAR SONGS AND STORIES captures the sounds and tales from the Civil War era. Actor David Keith narrates. Mustered to preserve morale, professional brass bands accompanied Union and Confederate regiments throughout the war. The music — songs of patriotism, valor and victory, death and defeat — both inspired soldiers and consoled them, as the melodies conjured sweet memories from home and provided hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances. The program features expert commentary and modern interpretive performances of “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Bonnie Blue Flag” and more by some of Nashville’s most talented artists, including the legendary Crystal Gayle and American Idol sensation Bo Bice, along with William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys and Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers, and many others. Sharing their expertise in the documentary are Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Dean of Humanities and Behavioral Social Sciences at Fisk University, Dr. Dale Cockrell, Director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, author of more than 70 books and articles, and also professor of musicology at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Crystal DeGregory, an historian with degrees from both Fisk and Vanderbilt University.
Watch Stories and Songs online at:
Watch a clip of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” online at: