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Race Films

 Race Film Era
(1915 - 1955)


The race movie or race film was a film genre which existed in the United States between about 1915 and 1955. It consisted of films produced for an all-black audience, featuring a majority black casts.

In all, approximately five hundred race films were produced. Of these, fewer than one hundred remain. Because race films were produced outside the Hollywood studio system, they have been largely forgotten by mainstream film historians. In their day, race films were very popular among African American theatergoers. Their influence continues to be felt in cinema and television marketed to African Americans.

The term "race film" is sometimes used to describe films of the period aimed at other minority audiences. For instance, the 1926 film Silk Bouquet (also known as The Dragon Horse), starred the Asian-American actress Anna May Wong and was marketed to Chinese-American audiences.

 

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