Synopsis by Sarah Ing
After decades of misrepresentation, African-Americans began to stake a claim on the cinematic frontier with the emergence of talkies. Long portrayed as mammies and pickanninies, the role of the buffoonish black was going out of style. Filmmakers of color began to replace insulting images with scenes of their own creation. That's Black Entertainment: The Soundies Era -- Black Music Videos From the 1940s traces this transformation. The documentary includes clips from some of the premiere afro-centric movies of the day, featuring stars such as Nat King Cole, Ida James, Lionel Hampton, and June Richmond. Some critics argue that the image of African-Americans in cinema was not uplifted, but rather parlayed into similarly empty, shuffling stereotypes. That's Black Entertainment offers a rare glimpse into a controversial and important era in American filmmaking.
Black [race], entertainer, film-industry, filmmaker, music, music-video, race/ethnicity