|About the Book|
Today, African American film makers are among the most successful on the big screen. Names like Jon Singleton, Spike Lee, and Tyler Perry direct and produce many of todays top films. But unfortunately, this presence has not always been the case. InMoreToday, African American film makers are among the most successful on the big screen. Names like Jon Singleton, Spike Lee, and Tyler Perry direct and produce many of todays top films. But unfortunately, this presence has not always been the case. In the early years of silent film, African Americans were not portrayed in a positive manner. Their characters were limited to very stereotypical parts, and more often than not, if an African American were to be in a film, that part would be played by a white actor using blackface.Things would change as there were those who would begin to speak out against this and try to make something happen. Men such as Noble Johnson and Oscar Micheaux were not satisfied to simply stand by and watch these blatantly racist views continue. They knew that there was an abundance of African American actors and actresses who were capable of performing on the big screen if only given the chance.These men knew that it would be a hard job, but they were willing to take that chance. These pioneers of film would begin to produce movies with an all black cast, geared for an all black audience. These films which were called black race films, or simply race films are so important in the history of all Americans, no matter the color of their skin. These race films mirrored many of the great mainstream movies of the day, with westerns, musicals, crime dramas and others offering African Americans the opportunity to go and see a film in which they were not portrayed in the usual stereotypical manner. In many ways, these pioneers of film would set the stage for the civil rights movements which would follow. This is their story. The story that shows that if we work hard, there is no obstacle that we cannot overcome. These stories have been forgotten, but now they can be retold.