The Learning Tree was selected to the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It’s the 1st Hollywood studio film to be directed by an African-American person.
Written and directed by Gordon Parks, The Learning Tree is a 1969 drama film produced and released by Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. The film tells the story of a young African American growing up in rural Kansas during the late 1920s and early 1930s, when racial discrimination was a social norm and legally sanctioned in parts of the United States.
The Learning Tree is based upon Parks’ 1964 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name.