Evolution of Black Cinema.

Dedrick Conway
3 min readApr 20, 2021

Throughout the early history of Cinema and the filmmaking culture, blacks were treated as they were anywhere else and not much a part of the filmmaking process. Women were not a part of the filmmaking process either Hollywood or cinema to be specific was dominated by white men. From casting directors, crew members, actors, producers, writers, directors, and extras they were all white.

With cinema being all white or predominately white it is only white stories and narratives being told, only wanted white talent, and wanted to keep cinema white. They even went as far as putting a blackface on a white person to portray a black character. Which morally and ethically is disgusting if you have a group of people who can portray “a real person” and you accommodate us as in black people by using someone white and putting a black face on them. But slowly after it became evident that Hollywood in terms of cinema was for “whites only” and slowly but surely black people would make their way into cinema. Creating a new medium for black media in a pivotal way where black people are the ones representing African- Americans. With the inclusion of African Americans came more black stories, dynamic characters, more creativity, and lastly a chance for more black entertainers and media.

In 1943 Stormy Weather was released by 20th Century Fox that was basically about African American Entertainers in the 1900’s. It was directed by Andrew L. Stone written by Frederick J. Jackson and Ted Koehler, and it had an all-black production. Prior to the production and the release of Stormy Weather black actors that were supposed to appear on Cabin in they Sky did not get shown on screen so were given a new opportunity with Stormy Weather which was about black entertainment from 1918 from 1943 and dramatized the life of Bill Robinson. Looking at this film from a deeper perspective historically it really was not a representation of black people in general terms even through having black actors, also the depiction of the characters gave it a slave like “look” in addition all the characters tended to look the same representing all negros are the same from the surface to actions. Though it was a good way to represent blacks in cinema it could have a been better in terms of texture and context.

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Dedrick Conway

Dedrick C. is a serial entrepreneur, indie author, ghostwriter, and artist expressing his perspectives through evocative literary artistry. Top writer in Art!