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The Fifty Most Influential Black Films

    The Fifty Most Important Black Films in an illustrated guide to 50 of the most important and socially significant movies made for, by and about African Americans. It is a resource book, that examines of how black films have shaped and reflected the times, influenced society, and impacted black culture. It is not a "Best of," "Most liked," or "Greatest" films list. Nor is it based on wonderful reviews and box office grosses. And, it does not reflect the opinion of the entire black community. It is our list.
     We do not rank the films, but instead discuss them within the appropriate historical context. We divided the book into decades, except for the first thirty years when fewer black films were available. Each section starts with a historical overview from that decade, a discussion on the film itself, wrapped up with a summary of the various reviews found for each film.

    We have also included interviews from prominent actors and actresses like Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee James Earl Jones, Loretta Devine, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, producers such as Reuben Cannon and Halle Gerima and directors like Gordan Parks, Julie Dash and Charles Burnett for additional insight.

    The final section includes a few of the influential independent black films that we felt needed to be recognized such as Tony Brown's failed financial effort "The White Girl" and Halle Gerima's effectively guerilla marketed "Sankofa."

The List

1. THE RAILROAD PORTER, 1912
2. REALIZATION OF A NEGRO'S AMBITION, 1916
3. BIRTH OF A RACE, 1918
4. BODY AND SOUL, 1924
5. SCAR OF SHAME, 1927
6. HEARTS IN DIXIE, 1929
7. HALLELUJAH, 1929
8. THE EMPEROR JONES, 1933
9. IMITATION OF LIFE, 1934 & 1959
10. HARLEM ON THE PRAIRIE, 1938
11. THE BLOOD OF JESUS, 1941
12. CABIN IN THE SKY, 1943
13. STORMY WEATHER, 1943
14. HOME OF THE BRAVE, 1948
15. THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY, 1950
16. CARMEN JONES, 1954
17. ST. LOUIS BLUES, 1958
18. SERGEANT RUTLEDGE, 1960
19. A RAISIN IN THE SUN, 1961
20. BLACK LIKE ME, 1964
21. NOTHING BUT A MAN, 1964
22. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, 1967
23. THE LEARNING TREE, 1969
24. SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAADASSS SONG, 1971
25. SHAFT, 1971
26. BUCK AND THE PREACHER, 1972
27. BLACKULA, 1972
28. THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR, 1973
29. COFFY, 1973
30. CLAUDINE, 1974
31. COOLEY HIGH, 1975
32. COUNTDOWN AT KUSINI, 1976
33. KRUSH GROOVE, 1985
34. THE COLOR PURPLE, 1985
35. SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, 1986
36. HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE, 1987
37. A DRY WHITE SEASON, 1989
38. LEAN ON ME, 1989
39. GLORY, 1989
40. DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, 1991
41. BOYS IN THE HOOD, 1991
42. TO SLEEP WITH ANGER, 1991
43. BEBE'S KIDS, 1992
44. MALCOLM X, 1992
45. WAITING TO EXHALE, 1995
46. THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, 1996
47. GET ON THE BUS, 1996
48. AMISTAD, 1997
49. EVE'S BAYOU, 1997
50. THE BEST MAN, 1999

Copyright 2002 Berry Books
Developed by: Canteen Publishing Group