Since its publication in 1977 to acclaim as a pioneering work, this has remained the first and only book to detail all aspects of a unique era in the history of motion pictures â€�the only time in the U.S. when films featuring an all-Black cast, produced and directed by Blacks, were shown primarily to Black audiences, in theatres many of which were owned and managed by Blacks. Sampson traces the history of the Black film industry from its beginnings around 1910 to its demise in 1950, chronicling the activities of pioneer Black filmmakers and performers who have been virtually ignored by film historians. Significantly more information on Oscar Micheaux and other Black producers of the period and descriptions of many more Black films are included in the second edition. A new chapter discusses the first black images in American film as portrayed by Whites in blackface. The list of film titles from both the sound and the silent periods, including members of the cast, has been greatly expanded. With an extensive list of Black musical "soundies;" full index; and many new and rare photographs.
The first edition of this book received laudatory reviews. This (more than) doubly expanded version deserves additional accolades. Sampson has scoured the literature...and added substantial new information. American Reference Books Annual ...immensely valuable... Focus On Film ...an invaluable historical reference. Films In Review This is an important book on an important subject. B'nai B'rith Magazine This revised and expanded second edition is received with approbation. Highly recommended. Classic Images Many full-page and half-page photographs complement the text, while a thorough index eases access. Popular Culture in Libraries ...an absolute treasure trove of information on early Black films, filmmakers, and performers. All in all this is a standard setter for Black film reference books and an essential item for any university or large public library which supports research in African American performance, cultural history, or film studies. Screening Noir Anyone even remotely interested in the history of African Americans in film must have access to this book. Every conscientious library will want to own this invaluable sourcebook. CHOICE