Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers

Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers

Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers

Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers


As evidenced in interviews included in this volume, many African American filmmakers consider themselves artists first, their ethnicity being only part of what influences their work. This is the first book by an African American on contemporary African American filmmakers. Here directors and producers speak for themselves, posing challenges to current thinking in the field. Special emphasis is given to the filmmakers' productions and their experiences. Essays on historic figures reveal the rich history of the African American contribution to cinema. From Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams to Neema Barnett and the team of George Jackson and Doug McHenry, this revealing reference work will enlighten scholars, students, and film buffs.


As early as 1899, African Americans were involved in the industry of filmmaking. William Foster of Chicago got his colored filmmakin' thing started in 1913. Oscar Micheaux, our premier filmmaker, took directing, writing and producing to a higher level with the release of his first film in 1918. Micheaux directed more than forty films between 1918 and 1948, a feat that remains unequaled in Black film history. in the early years, Black filmmakers had to go from theater to theater collecting their share of the box office receipts after each screening.

Since those early years, hundreds of African American producers and directors have exercised their creativity. I'd say this work by Spencer Moon is long overdue. a dynamic volume, it speaks to the passion these women and men have for their chosen profession. Moreover, Moon's diligence bursts off each page and is indicative of his love for them, their cinema and their filmmaking abilities. a filmmaker himself, Moon takes us "on location" and looks into the minds and hearts of his subjects, capturing for the first time in literary history what it involves to bring forth this type of entertainment in an industry that has consistently denied people of color their rightful place and status.

Multitudinous images have been stamped on celluloid by the filmmakers presented herein. Their representations of who we were, what we are, who we be, who we is and that which we may become are available for our children's children and will bear witness to the colored/Negro/Black/African American cinema of the twentieth century.

As we move rapidly into the next century, I hope that many more film-

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