Black History in Film


Eslanda Goode Robeson

 "Eslanda Goode Robeson was a 1930's pioneer regarding Black female filmmakers. She held a Ph.D. in anthropology and made ethnographic films similar to Hurston's reels. Yet, similar to Hurston's films, they are available for viewing at the Library of Congress but their fragile conditions renders it inaccessible for public screening."


Madam C. J. Walker

"Madam C.J. Walker was one of the first Black millionaires, made her fortune manufacturing and distributing cosmetics and hair-care products for Black women."

"In addition to her retail business, Walker owned the Walker Theater in Indianapolis, Indiana and produced training and promotional films about her cosmetics factory. The theater still stands today and was recently purchased by IUPUI for renovations. These films, Bowser declares, "offered a visual record of women's work history" and the "development of cottage Industries."  

-Pearl Bowser-



"Archivist and film scholar Pearl Bowser notes that Black women worked behind the camera on numerous films during this time on what were known as "race" film, that is, independent films produced by Black filmmakers, rather than white-controlled films about Black life."