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ARTH A443 A590 Imaging Race


The Black Film Center/Archive was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions.

Collections of Interest

The BFC/A holds a large number of publicity portraits as well as film and production stills representing independent and mainstream cinematic works by and/or featuring Black filmmakers and artists throughout the United States, Africa, and the larger African diaspora. In many cases these photographic images have been re-contextualized as part of promotional materials such as lobby cards, pressbooks, posters, and publicity photo sets that were distributed to theatres and news outlets, thereby introducing additional layers to how these filmmakers and artists were represented to consumer audiences. The BFC/A has actively collected these items as well. Another notable set of photographs held by the BFC/A includes that of the Oscar Micheaux Awards Ceremony and other film-related events hosted by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in Oakland from 1974 through 2003. The bulk of the BFC/A’s photographic materials range from the 1960s through the present day. The earliest items, however, date back to the 1920s and include glass plate negatives from the Richard E. Norman and Race Filmmaking Collection and family photographs from the Phil Moore Collection.

The following collections contain a large number of photographs and related promotional items. For more detailed/up-to-date listings, please contact the BFC/A archivist: