Yoruba Richen

Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website – The Cut, The Atlantic, and Field of Vision. Her most recent films include The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (co-directed with Johanna Hamilton for NBC's Peacock) and How it Feels To Be Free for PBS’s American Masters. Her recent films, The New York Times Presents: The Killing of Breonna Taylor premiered on FX and Hulu and The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show premiered on MSNBC and is streaming on Peacock.

Her previous film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel and was nominated for an EMMY. Her films The New Black and Promised Land won multiple festival awards before airing on PBS's Independent Lens and P.O.V. Yoruba won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. She is the 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award and a Guggenheim Fellow. Yoruba is the founding director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.


Insurrection 1898 brings to life the events surrounding the coup d’état in Wilmington, NC, in which white supremacists overthrew the multi-racial government of North Carolina’s largest city through a coordinated campaign of violence and intimidation intended to undermine Black political and economic power and impose white control and led to the death of as many as one hundred fifty Black residents. The events in Wilmington offer a powerful lens through which to examine broader patterns in the disenfranchisement of Black Americans at a pivotal moment in the nation’s history, and the reverberations of that history that can still be felt today.


The New Black (Documentary Lab)
Crooked Lines (OUR 100 DAYS)
Insurrection 1898 (William Greaves Research & Development Fund)

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab
William Greaves Research & Development Fund

Cohort Year

2010 (Documentary Lab)
2017 (OUR 100 DAYS)
2022 (William Greaves Research & Development Fund)





Documentary Lab
Our 100 Days
William Greaves Research and Development Fund

Other Filmakers