The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to indentify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
The Department of Afro American Research, Arts, and Culture's Archive is a subdivision of DAARAC that digitally preserves Afro American films. On this website, you may browse our archive that consists of film posters, screenshots, and movie synopsis. All information provided here is for research and reference purposes. We do not host full-length films on this website.

Search DAARAC's Archive


Vintage Black Hollywood

Vintage Black Hollywood
(1900 - 1954)
There is a fundamental difference between Vintage Black Hollywood films and Race films during the early years of Black Cinema. Vintage Black Hollywood films generally depicted African-Americans in very stereotypical roles such as servants, mammies, hustlers, lazy, and blackface. White directors/writers produced these films for major motion picture companies such as Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and MGM. These films had bigger budgets and very talented African-American actors, musicians, singers, and dancers. Race films were Black independent films that were mostly made by Black writers/directors and produced/distributed by Black motion picture companies. African-Americans made not all Race films, but in general, these films featured African-Americans in less stereotypical roles. When ciphering through Black cinema during the early years of Black cinema, it's easy to confuse Vintage Black Hollywood films with Race Films. Still, after reviewing many films from that period, it's relatively easy to separate Hollywood's idea of Black cinema versus the movies that were considered Race films.

By the 1950s, Hollywood was shifting its idea on how African-Americans were portrayed in films by eliminating some of the stereotypical roles and challenging racism within American society. This shift also was the demise of Race films because of the infamous United States v. Paramount Pictures supreme court decision in 1948 that decided the fate of movie studios owning their theaters and holding exclusivity rights on which theaters would show their films. Hollywood continued to produce very few Black films, and Black independent filmmakers were non-existent during this period. The Vintage Black Hollywood era subtly came to an end, but the start of the Civil Rights Movement in 1954 gave way to a new type of thinking.

#
    A
    B
    C

    • Darktown Follies (1930) [imdb]
    • Dat Blackhand Waitah Man (1917)
    • Deep South (1930) [imdb]
      E
      F
      G
      H
      I
      J
      K
      L
      M
      N
      O

      P
      Q

      R
      S
      T
      U

      V
        W


        Y

        Z

        Visit the Museum of Black Cult Cinema for additional information and digital media.