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the birth of race movies, excerpt from Midnight Ramble

by The Cine-Files

This excerpt from Midnight Ramble: The Story of the Black Film Industry, describes the birth of “race cinema” in the United States. The clip demonstrates how demeaning stereotypes of African-Americans (including those in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation) were rampant in the 1910s. To counteract those images, African-Americans created their own cinema, known then as “race movies.” The clip contains several excerpts from early “race movies,” archival images from advertisements, newspapers, and publicity materials, as well as commentary and narration from scholars, archivists, artists, and performers. The latter half of the clip focuses on the career of Oscar Micheaux, the most well-known director of race movies.

excerpt on "race movies" from Midnight Ramble: The Story of the Black Film Industry

Midnight Ramble is a 1994 documentary about the birth of "race cinema" in the United States.

from Midnight Ramble (1994)
Creator: directors Pearl Bowser and Bestor Cram
Distributor: American Experience
Posted by The Cine-Files