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Hollywood Black and the Silver Screen: A history of African-American actors and filmmakers

US director Barry Jenkins (center) speaks after
US director Barry Jenkins (center) speaks after "Moonlight" won the Best Film award at the 89th Oscars on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California.

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Author Donald Bogle’s new book, "Hollywood Black: The Stars, the Films, the Filmmakers", tells the history of African-Americans in cinema, both in front of the camera and behind it.

Hollywood Black by Donald Bogle
Hollywood Black by Donald Bogle

In the book, Bogle covers every seminal moment in black film history, from Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar win for Gone With The Wind to last year’s groundbreaking blockbuster Black Panther, while also delving into the lesser told stories of people like silent filmmaker Oscar Micheaux and blacksploitation star Tamara Dobson.

Though Hollywood Black celebrates the myriad achievements by African-Americans in the film industry, it also delves into challenges that have plagued them from silent film era to today, like the lack of backstory often given to black characters, and how African-Americans have often been relegated to supporting roles as helpers to white protagonists. 

Are you an African-American actor or filmmaker? We’d love to hear your questions and comments at  866-893-5722


Donald Bogle, film historian and author of nine books; his latest is “Hollywood Black” (Running Press Adult, 2019)

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC, Alt-Film Guide and; he tweets @CinemaInMind