Nominating Take this Hammer to the National Film Registry

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Note: to send your email vote in support of Take this Hammer's nomination to the National Film Registry, please visit this web page at the Library of Congress's web site:

A short video produced by the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) on February 5th 2014, at the 50th Anniversary screening of KQED's documentary film Take this Hammer (Director's Cut) at the Bayview Opera House, on Third Street in San Francisco. Includes brief views of people arriving, being checked in and waiting for the program to start (it was a free event). Also features scenes of Film Archivist Alex Cherian explaining to the audience how the Bay Area Television Archive has nominated Take this Hammer (Director's Cut) for the 2014 National Film Registry program, run by the Library of Congress. This video was shot by Prince Dean, Jasmine Hernandez and Dimitri Moore, with editing by Alex Cherian. The event was organized and co-sponsored by the Center for Political Education (CPE), the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive, the Bayview Branch of the San Francisco Public Library and POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights). The San Francisco Arts Commission assisted CPE with producing the event. This video production was assisted in part by a California State Library grant, supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services Technology Act (LSTA), administered in California by the State Librarian.

In 'Take this Hammer' KQED's mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963, as he's driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African-American community. Escorted by Youth For Service's Executive Director Orville Luster, he is intent on discovering: "The real situation of Negroes in the city, as opposed to the image San Francisco would like to present." Baldwin declares: "There is no moral distance ... between the facts of life in San Francisco and the facts of life in Birmingham. Someone's got to tell it like it is. And that's where it's at." Includes frank exchanges with local people on the street, meetings with community leaders and extended point-of-view sequences shot from a moving vehicle, featuring the Bayview Hunters Point and Western Addition neighborhoods. Baldwin reflects on the racial inequality that African-Americans are forced to confront and at one point tries to lift the morale of a young man by expressing his conviction that: "There will be a Negro president of this country but it will not be the country that we are sitting in now." 

Originally aired on
Bay Area Video Coalition
Date aired
Recording medium
Quicktime video
Rights for this video belong to
Bay Area Video Coalition
Type of material
Special event

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