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Midnight Ramble is a (1994) documentary about Black Hollywood movies from the period between 1910 through the 1950, which were commonly known as "race movies." Over 500 movies were produced. This documentary is a tribute to a misunderstood and mysterious film genre that lasted for over forty years. James Avery narrates this exploration of the early black film industry. Early on they tried to counteract Hollywood stereotypes. The film focuses especially on the work of Oscar Micheaux, a controversial filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed over 40 features, who tackled difficult social issues in Black America. In selecting the films to be shown, producers called upon the expertise of its staff, film historians, professors at Yalemarker and Duke universities, and film archivist Pearl Bowser. It includes clips from films by a number of African American directors of the period, which is very helpful since many of these films are difficult to find or unavailable.

Cast list

  • James Avery: Narrator
  • Toni Cade Bambara: Commentator (author)
  • Elton Fax: Commentator (illustrator)
  • Carlton Moss: Commentator (filmmaker)
  • Dorothy Delfs: Commentator
  • Shingzie Howard: Commentator (actress)
  • Herb Jeffries: Commentator (actor)
  • Robert Hall: Commentator (historian)
  • Pearl Bowser: Commentator (archivist)
  • Frances E. Williams: Commentator (actress)
  • Olive Delfs: Commentator
  • St. Claire Bourne Sr.: Commentator (journalist)
  • Edna Mae Harris: Commentator (actress)



  • Midnight Ramble - The Story of the Black Film Industry (1995) ASIN 6303408508
  • Janet K. Cutler. Struggles for Representation: African American Struggles for Representation: Documentary Film and Video, Indiana University Press, (2004) - ISBN 0253213479

External links

Midnight Ramble: The Negro in Early Hollywood

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