Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders

Film. By Joan Sadoff, Robert Sadoff, and Laura Lipson. 2002. 60 minutes.
Documentary film on women in the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.

Time Periods: 20th Century, 1961
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Organizing, Women's History

Standing on My Sisters' ShouldersOne of the best films on the Civil Rights Movement, this award-winning documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it — and emerged as its grassroots leaders.

Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders is full of riveting historical footage and original interviews with Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine, Unita Blackwell, Mae Bertha Carter, Victoria Gray Adams, Dorie Ladner, and more. Voter registration, the fight for equal education, desegregation, and of course the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s challenge at the Democratic Convention are featured.

Victoria Jackson Gray Adams

Victoria Jackson Gray Adams at the 1964 Democratic convention. By George Ballis/Take Stock.

If you can show just one film on the Civil Rights Movement, this should be the one. An exquisite tool for high school and college teachers of history, women’s studies, African American studies, and related subjects. Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Unita Blackwell, and countless others at last get the recognition they deserve. —Pricilla Murolo, Professor of History and Director of the Women’s History program, Sarah Lawrence

A powerful and moving film about ordinary women armed with sheer determination. —Jennifer Moffet, Jackson Free Press

A film by Joan SadoffDr. Robert Sadoff and Laura J. Lipson. Distributed by Women Make Movies.

Schools/Institutions/Home Video: How to Buy. It is also available via Kanopy for free with a library card from a participating system.


1 comments on “Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders

  1. Ginger Ferrer on

    The true hisotry of this country and the peoples enslaved within it is a necessary telling.
    For way too long history has been written by those who would not know what it is like to be chained, shackled or otherwise enslaved. They appear to have wanted to deny the existence of man’s inhumanity to man and woman as the true telling of this country’s journey to posterity and greed for its name sake. The something for nothing mentality that still holds many peoples in its greedy grip and unconstitutional violating. Hurray to the champions who have made this history current and available to anyone seeking the truth. Hooray, hooray, hooray. Most respectfully.

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