Kharey Wise as he looked in court when he was arraigned in the Central Park jogger rape case.

Thanks to all who participated in our Summer 2020 series! The discussion series is now concluded, but you can still watch the video-taped introductions by our film experts and the films on your own time. Throw a DIY watch party! For more information on the series: Virtual International Film Festival.

Video introduction by SHASS faculty for each film are available to the public. Links to the featured films are open to current MIT students, faculty and staff.

Introduction to the film

By Craig Wilder


Watch the film

Watch the film here: The Central Park Five

About the film

Wilder’s pick is: The Central Park Five. directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, produced by Ken Burns, et al., Public Broadcasting Service, 2012.

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

Country of Origin: United States. Genre: Documentary. Awards: Peabody Award, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Black Film Critics Circle Awards, Black Reel Awards, Chicago International Film Festival, and more.



Craig Steven Wilder
  • Barton L. Weller Professor of History

Craig Steven Wilder is a historian of American institutions and ideas. His most recent book is Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013).