From Race Films to Mainstream Movies: Black Films of the 1930s-1950s
About this course:
Race films--movies created mainly by African-American filmmakers for black audiences--flourished from the 1910s to the late 1940s. While hundreds of films were made, few have survived. We will watch three of these films from the first and only collection of them: Pioneers of African-American Cinema, produced in 2016. These films serve as social commentaries on the times in which they were made and include two by Oscar Micheaux: The Exile (1931) and Birthright (1938). We will also watch three movies intended for audiences of all races: Imitation of Life (1934), Stormy Weather (1943), and The Defiant Ones (1958). This course provides an opportunity to view U.S. race relations from the black perspective.