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Nat Turner : a troublesome property

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator California Newsreel presents ; produced in association with KQED Public Television, a production of Subpix LLC ; directed by Charles Burnett ; produced by Frank Christopher ; written by Charles Burnett, Frank Christopher, Kenneth S. Greenberg
  • Format Videos, Slides, Films
  • Contributors
  • Publication San Francisco : California Newsreel, c2002.
  • Physical Details
    • 1 videodisc (57 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in
  • OCLC ocm54939602, ocn677927634
  • Credits
    • Narrator, Alfre Woodard ; commentators, Eric Foner, Peter Wood, Mary Kemp Davis, Ekewueme Michael Thelwell, Henry Louis Gates, Vincent Harding, Herbert Aptheker, William Styron, Kitty Futrell, Eugene Genovese, Rick Francis, Bruce Turner, Martha Minow, Ray Winbush, Ossie Davis, Alvin Poussaint, Ayoku Babu, James McGee, Charles Burnett, Kenneth S. Greenberg, Thomas Parramore, Louise Meriwether, Loyle Hairston
    • Carl Lumbly (Nat Turner) [Gray segment], Tommy Hicks (Nat Turner) [Edmonds segment], James Opher (Nat Turner) [Styron segment], Michael Lemelle (Nat Turner) [Brown segment], Patrick Waller (Nat Turner) [Stowe segment], Billy Dye (Nat Turner), Tom Nowicki (Thomas R. Gray), Megan Gallagher (Margaret Whitehead), Moses Gibson (Allen Crawford)
    • Historian, Kenneth S. Greenberg ; director of photography, John Demps ; editors, Frank Christopher, Michael Colin ; music, Todd Capps, Stephen James Taylor


  • Includes public performance rights.


  • Evaluates the authenticity of the earliest source, "The Confessions of Nat Turner", assembled by a white Virginia lawyer from jailhouse interviews. It then follows the controversy over the Nat Turner story played out through history. Alvin Poussaint and Ossie Davis recall how Nat Turner became a hero in the Black community. Religious scholar Vincent Harding and legal scholar Martha Minow reflect on America's attitudes toward terrorism. One of the most bitter race battles of the 1960s is reexamined, when William Styron published his novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner.


  • Originally produced for television in 2002.
  • DVD.
  • Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


  • 1830s: Turner's slave rebellion -- 1830s: Amanuensis Thomas R. Gray -- 1850-60s: Novelist Harried Beecher Stowe, Abolitionist William Wells Brown -- 1930s: WPA Ex-slave oral history -- 1930s: Dramatist Randolph Edmonds -- 1960s: Novelist William Styron -- 1960s: Ten black writers respond -- Present: Documentary film as interpretation
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