The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Native Son (1951)

"Native Son" (1951) is a drama film based on the novel by Richard Wright under the same title. The movie also stars Wright as the main character Bigger Thomas. Producers filmed and released the movie in Argentina, but some exterior shots of Chicago are in some scenes. Canada Less was initially supposed to play the role of Bigger Thomas, but due to visa issues while filming "Cry, the Beloved Country," he could not take part. 

The film is an excellent adaptation of the novel. Although some aspects of the film can not cover all of the elements in Wright's story, he still portrayed Bigger Thomas as he visioned it. Bigger Thomas is a complex individual, and his character is representative of many different characteristics of society, which ultimately leads him to commit crimes before understanding how he exists in this world.

Two additional adaptions to the movie were released in 1986 and 2019. The original 1951 version did not get an official home media release until 2022. Richard Wright did not act in any other movie, but a few of his stories did get made into films.

Director: Pierre Chenal
Writers: Richard Wright, Pierre Chenal

Starring Richard Wright, Gloria Madison, Willa Pearl Curtis, Jean Wallace, Leslie Straugh, Nicholas Joy, Charles Cane, George Rigaud, George D. Green, Ruth Roberts, Georges Roos, Don Dean

Based on Richard Wright's novel, the story is about a Black chauffeur, Bigger Thomas (Richard Wright). He earned the opportunity to be a chauffeur for the wealthy Dalton family. The family's daughter (Jean Wallace) talks Bigger into driving her to meet her boyfriend, and they go out to a club and have drinks together. Thomas drives the girl home and helps her to her room against his better judgment. The girl's blind mother shows up while helping her in bed, and he panics by trying to silence her. After the mother leaves, Bigger realizes that she is dead. From this point, the trouble he is in only begins to get worst as he battles with the morals of society. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)


Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the negro leagues and the major leagues.