December 6, 2019

Today in History: The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation PosterToday in History–February 8–the Library of Congress features the controversial silent film, The Birth of a Nation, which premiered on this day in 1915. Although the film advanced the art of cinema, it did so by telling a story with a skewed, racist vision of U.S. history. Protested by many, the film was ultimately a great commercial success. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section and then clicking the links below.

The Birth of a Nation poster

More The Birth of a Nation images

Perfect song; Love strain from D.W. Griffith’s gigantic spectacle The Birth of a Nation

Protest of The Birth of a Nation film (letter, 3/24/1915)

Fighting a vicious film: protest against “The birth of a nation.” (book published 1915, Boston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

Historical newspaper coverage of The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation film (from the Internet Archive)

Within Our Gates film response to The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation: Symposium on Classic Film Discusses Inaccuracies and Virtues Library of Congress Information Bulletin June 27, 1994 – Vol. 53, No. 13

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