African American Films : The Film Industry Essay

1165 Words Nov 30th, 2016 5 Pages
Many people know about African Americans in the film industry, but not many know about the path they had to take to get there. African American films have always played a significant role in my family. We loved to see films that make us laugh, but also ones that revealed more about the history of our race, especially since my distant cousin Pearl Bailey starred in many of those motion pictures. The fact that my cousin worked in film during a time that African Americans were looked down upon in the film industry inspired me to want to pursue a career in film. Being a filmmaker and African American, I found it very important to discover the history of African Americans in film and even some things that they may be going through now in the film industry. The role of African Americans is significant in the film industry, but also very important because it changed the industry altogether.
During 1910, white people would dress up in blackface in order to depict an African American character in their films. African Americans were portrayed as very stereotypical characters in early 20th century films. They would get roles as butlers or other helpers around the house, those were considered the best roles for blacks. Even though they were bigger roles, they still required them to play a servant. African Americans also had to play dim-witted or violent idiot many times. During the 1920’s, African Americans would have to keep those stereotypical roles, but in all-black…

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