7.2/10
415
7 user 9 critic

Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored (1995)

A narrator tells the story of his childhood years in a tightly knit Afro-American community in the deep south under racial segregation.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Rosa Parks Story (TV Movie 2002)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A seamstress recalls events leading to her act of peaceful defiance that prompted the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

Director: Julie Dash
Stars: Angela Bassett, Peter Francis James, Tonea Stewart
Ruby Bridges (TV Movie 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The true story of Ruby Bridges, an African-American girl who, in 1960 at age 6, helped to integrate the all-white schools of New Orleans. Although she was the only black girl to come to the... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Penelope Ann Miller, Kevin Pollak, Michael Beach
King (TV Mini-Series 1978)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stretching from his days as a Southern Baptist minister up to his assassination in Memphis in 1968.

Stars: Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Tony Bennett
A Raisin in the Sun (TV Movie 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An African-American family struggles with poverty, racism, and inner conflict as they strive for a better way of life. Based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry.

Director: Kenny Leon
Stars: Sean Combs, Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald
Mama Flora's Family (TV Series 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mama Flora reflects on her life while trying to help her grand-daughter get her life right and be a better mother for her son. All while bringing the family she has left back together. Movies takes place from the 1910s to the 1970s.

Stars: Cicely Tyson, Erika Alexander, Blair Underwood
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A drama centered on a go-go dancer with multiple personality disorder who struggles to remain her true self and begins working with a psychotherapist to uncover the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.

Director: Geoffrey Sax
Stars: Halle Berry, Stellan Skarsgård, Phylicia Rashad
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Story of a black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Director: John Korty
Stars: Cicely Tyson, Eric Brown, Richard Dysart
The Babysitter's Seduction (TV Movie 1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The mother of the family for which Michelle baby-sits dies unexpectedly. Michelle is asked to take over looking after the children and is gradually "seduced" by the father. When suspicions ... See full summary »

Director: David Burton Morris
Stars: Stephen Collins, Keri Russell, Phylicia Rashad
Selma, Lord, Selma (TV Movie 1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1965 Alabama, an 11 year old girl (Jurnee Smollett) is touched by a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Clifton Powell) and becomes a devout follower. But her resolution is tested when ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Mackenzie Astin, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Clifton Powell
The Wedding (TV Movie 1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Halle Berry, Eric Thal, Lynn Whitfield
Brother Future (TV Movie 1991)
Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young street rapper is transported back in time to the pre-Civil War South, where he finds himself in the middle of a slave revolt.

Director: Roy Campanella II
Stars: Phill Lewis, Carl Lumbly, Moses Gunn
Soul Food (2000–2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The everyday life and problems of the Josephs, a black family living in Chicago, Illinois.

Stars: Rockmond Dunbar, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Aaron Meeks
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Poppa
...
Ma Ponk
...
Uncle Melvin
...
Ma Pearl
...
Miss Alice (as Salli Richardson)
...
Miss Annie
...
Mr. Walter
...
Preacher Hurn
...
Cliff (12 Yrs.) (as Willis Norwood Jr.)
...
Mary
...
Cliff at 16
Iona Morris ...
Nila Fontaine
...
Sammy (19 Yrs.) / Narrator
...
Mr. Will
...
Miss Maybry
Edit

Storyline

This film relates the story of a tightly connected Afro-American community informally called Colored Town where the inhabitants live and depend on each other in a world where racist oppression is everywhere, as told by a boy called Cliff who spent his childhood there. Despite this, we see the life of the community in all its joys and sorrows, of those that live there while others decide to leave for a better life north. For those remaining, things come to a serious situation when one prominent businessman is being muscled out by a white competitor using racist intimidation. In response, the community must make the decision of whether to submit meekly like they always have, or finally fight for their rights. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including mild violence, language, and sensuality | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1996 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$3,375,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

7 years prior to this film, Bernie Casey (Mr. Walter) And Isaac Hayes (Preacher Hurn) acted together in the Keenen Ivory Wayans comedy, "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka." See more »

Quotes

Preacher Hurn: If you call Jesus, his line is never busy.
See more »


Soundtracks

Maybe Tomorrow
Written and Performed by Lionel Cole
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The film is fine the way it is.
9 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The author's stated intention was to show the family that nourished him and protected him from the world of hatred and segregation. The film showed just enough of the segregated life to let the viewer know that Cliff needed to be protected from that world and nurtured to overcome the scars that outside world could inflict. I think Taulbert and the movie did a good job of showing how the love of his immediate and extended family could compensate in some way for the hatred and oppression of the outside world. I hate to see the movie berated for not being a documentary of all the hateful excesses of the segregated South when that was not the movie's intent. We have films that are considered classics that are about different parts of World War II, and they don't document all the atrocities of the Holocaust. Not focusing on parts of an era that are not the main point of the film is not "sugarcoating." It's an excellent film about growing up in a loving family and overcoming challenges through the love and support of others. It's fine the way it is.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Fantastic! ReelofFortune
Funny side note dukeb0y

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?