A collection of foundational works of African American cinema will become available to the public on July 26, when the Blu-Ray/DVD set Pioneers of African American Cinema will be released by Kino Lorber. Comprised of twenty hours of footage on five discs, starting with shorts from over a 100 years ago, the set will be of special value to scholars and historians, since these important films have been difficult to view, especially in good quality.
In the first decades of African American cinema independently produced “race films” were made for black audiences. Between 1915 and 1952 more than 500 of them were made in the United States and shown in more than 1000 movie theaters, most of which were segregated. Because “race films” were made outside Hollywood they presented African American characters who were not stereotypical servants or comic … Read more