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Martha S. Grafton Library

Race Films: Getting Started

Information regarding remaining race films, including full-length videos and quick links to more information.

Welcome to Grafton Library's Race Films Guide

While the influence of race films can still be observed in the film world today, they primarily emerged in the early 1900's and continued into the 1960's. Race films are films that were created for an African American audience, with an all African American cast. Because of the film industry's failure to properly represent people of color, it is important to review the history of true representation. 

Race films were largely popular to black theater-goers in the 1900's, and nearly five hundred films were made in total. Unfortunately, only about one hundred remain today due to the lack of archival preservation of films made outside of mainstream Hollywood. You can explore those race films freely available or available through Grafton's databases here.

Titles without films will take you to the IMDB page where one exists. Hover over the i icon for more information.