AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Hampton Institute: Its Program of Education for Life
Director: Mr. Ray Garner (Dir)
Release Date:   1941
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Summary: At Hampton Institute, Virginia, which has been an "important factor in the development of Negro citizenship" since 1868, one thousand students each year prepare to be artisans, teachers, businessmen and women, homemakers and farmers. The principle of "learning by doing" was inaugurated by the school's founder, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong. The college, while located in the South, attracts students from all over the United States, the West Indies, Africa and Canada. Scenes are shown of students, teachers, counsellors, doctors and nurses. Students are shown working to earn part of their expenses. They are also shown taking aptitude tests, preparing to be farm demonstration agents, teachers and scientific farmers; in business circumstances; and teaching in county schools. A chart shows the rise in the literacy rate for African Americans from 18.6 percent in 1868 to 83.7 percent in 1941. Library training is shown, as is instruction for women to become home economic teachers. Child development and family life is studied in a nursery school and a practice home. The college's thirteen trade schools are shown, including automobile mechanics; forging and welding; brickmasonry and plastering; electricity; cabinetmaking; upholstery; tailoring; dry cleaning; machine shop; plumbing and heating; sheetmetal and roofing; printing; and carpentry. In addition, activities of building construction and trade teaching are shown. Students are shown pursuing various artistic endeavors, including painting, ceramics, sculpture, weaving and African dance. The Hampton Choir, which has performed in Europe for royalty and for the president of the U.S., are shown performing, under the direction of Dr. R. Nathaniel Dett. The institute's regiment, which all men are required to join, is shown marching. The campus church, residences, social activities and sports program are shown. President Malcolm S. MacLean is shown talking with students in the Civil Aeronautics Authority training program and taking a ride with an advanced student pilot. Men from shipyards, naval bases, forts, camps and factories are sent to the school for training in defense skills. Graduates from the school are shown, and a chart shows the high percentage of graduates placed in jobs in various disciplines. The school's slogan, "Upward with Hampton for the Nation's Gain" is given. 

Production Company: The Harmon Foundation  
Director: Mr. Ray Garner (Dir)
  Mrs. Ray Garner (Dir)
Writer: Evelyn S. Brown (Script)
Photography: Mr. Ray Garner (Photog)
  Mrs. Ray Garner (Photog)
Country: United States
Language: English

Physical Properties: b&w with col seq: b&w and col prints
  gauge: 16mm

Genre: Documentary
Sub-Genre: Educational/cultural
Subjects (Major): African-American universities and colleges
  Hampton Institute
Subjects (Minor): Air pilots

Note: Although no specific release date has been found for this film, internal evidence in the film suggests that it was completed in 1941. As noted in the film, the Hampton Institute, which is located in Hampton, VA, was founded in 1868 and chartered in 1870 for advanced education of African Americans. 

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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