The Negro in early Hollywood

Film Images
Selected film images from early Hollywood

Film Posters
Selected rare film posters

Classic Film Pages

Visitor feedback

Recommended Links

The Movies, Race, and Ethnicity
U C Berkley site on Black films, filmmakers, and actors

The Radio Hall of Fame
A nice page on Eddie Anderson

From Slavery to Stepin Fetchit
Great article on the history of black humor

The African American Registry
A nice article on Bill Bojangles Robinson

Stepin Fetchit, In Old Kentucky

Black characters have appeared in Hollywood films for as long as motion pictures have been produced. In the early years the hiring of black performers was rare. When feature roles requiring a black player came along, the film’ producers habitually hired white actors and let him, or her portray the character in “Blackface”.

Midnight Ramble concerns Black Hollywood from the period just after World War I through the 1940s. It considers everything from the low budget, independent Race movies of Oscar Micheaux to major studio productions. It’s a tribute to a very misunderstood, and mysterious film genre that lasted for over forty years.

By the decade of 1960s Black American performers were beginning to merge into Hollywood’s mainstream. And as with the demise of “B” film, another door closed on an intriguing and engaging component of the provocative history of Hollywood, and the motion picture industry.

This section of The Palace is dedicated to those actors and filmmakers of Race movies, and Black Hollywood that flourished during the first half of the twentieth century.

Finding information on this subject continues to be extremely difficult. I welcome any additional knowledge.