Black cinema treasures: lost and found by G. William Jones

By G. William Jones

Focusing on a much-neglected sector of movie event in the United States, Black Cinema Treasures furthers the renovation of America’s cultural and old history, specifically its African-American background as visible throughout the eyes of the African-American self reliant filmmakers of the Nineteen Twenties during the Nineteen Fifties. Ossie Davis says that the gathering is among the most sensible resources of black “self-consciousness” in the US in the course of these decades.

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So, when "Roots" came along (which, by the way, was not nearly the best representation of the black experience possible), it was good. The American public needed to know, wanted to know, and looked in to see. Now, we have an even more authentic representation of the black experienceproduced and directed, acted and scripted by black people themselves, for a black audience. This gives us a chance to satisfy even further that great need among us Americans to know all we can about each other. Page 2 Ossie Davis Page 3 The Necessity of Historical Knowledge This film collection has many values.

Foreword by Ossie Davis 1 II. Introduction King Tut's Warehouse: Finding the Films 13 The Non-White World of All-Black Cinema 20 III. Some Pioneer Black Filmmakers Oscar Micheaux: the Dean of Black Filmmakers 26 Spencer Williams 31 William Alexander 36 George Randol 39 IV. the Tyler, Texas, Black Film Collection The Blood of Jesus 44 Dirty Gertie from Harlem, U. S. A. 53 The Girl in Room 20 65 Juke Joint 75 Marching On 85 Midnight Shadow 95 Miracle in Harlem 106 Murder in Harlem (Lem Hawkins' Confession) 118 Souls of Sin 129 By-Line Newsreels (Four Episodes) 138 Other Short Films in the Collection: Broken Earth 145 Boogie Woogie Blues 148 Daughters of the Isle of Jamaica 152 Harlem Hot-Shots 152 Junior Jeeps 153 Vanities 155 Page vi V.

First, such films become covered with a fine, yellow-brown dust as the backing begins to break down.  William Jones with Black Film Treasures and Lobby Cards begin to stick to the next turn, so that unreeling the film does further damage (much as unrolling an ancient papyrus scroll does further damage to its precious contents). Finally, the film becomes a mixture of sticky, semi-solid masses awash in a puddle of dust. Estimates are that almost fifty percent of the world's pre-1950 film heritage is now gone forevermost of it to nitrate decomposition.

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