Past Film/Video | Documentaries

Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker

(Joanne Grant, 1981)

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Step back into the 1960s and the heart of the civil rights movement this November with the documentary Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker.

Presented in conjunction with Tomashi Jackson: Love Rollercoaster and in collaboration with Ohio State’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, the film offers a terrific introduction to the pathbreaking life and contributions of Baker, a foundational figure of this country’s civil rights movement and the “godmother” of the pivotal Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, through which Baker worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, among others. As Harry Belafonte—actor, singer, activist, and the film’s narrator—observes, "Fundi fills a gap for those who know little of the history of the black struggle [and] is a compelling portrait of an extraordinary woman who…devoted her life to struggle and to the people who take part in it." (63 mins., digital video). Closed captioning available.

Ohio State’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Library holds the Joanne Grant papers. While an accomplished journalist, writer, and activist, Grant had no filmmaking experience prior to making Fundi. Watch a behind-the-scenes video on the Grant collection by Jolie Braun, Assistant Professor and Curator of Modern Literature and Manuscripts, University Libraries.

"Fundi fills a gap for those who know little of the history of the black struggle [and] is a compelling portrait of an extraordinary woman."
Harry Belafonte
Image of Ella Baker wearing sunglasses and standing at a microphone speaking passionately

Fundi, image courtesy of Icarus Films

Close-up of Ella Baker's face as she speaks

Fundi, image courtesy of Icarus Films

Poster for the film Fundi. Image of Ella Baker at a microphone.

Image courtesy of Icarus Films

MADE POSSIBLE BY
Greater Columbus Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Huntington Bank
Nationwide Foundation

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Kaufman Development
Cardinal Health Foundation

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Past Film/Video

Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker