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African American Film and Television

Body and Soul (1925)

Download a sample list of available titles and additional research resources at UCLA in PDF format.

Motion picture and television collections at UCLA Film & Television Archive feature titles made both by and about African Americans. These films and programs run from the silent era to modern situation comedies. They provide a unique opportunity not only to examine the history of how blacks have been represented in mainstream media, but also to view a considerable range of productions by African Americans.


Oscar Micheaux

From the silent era, the Archive has some of Oscar Micheaux's "race movies"—all-black features made for black audiences. These films offered depictions of fully developed black characters: a clear alternative to the simple stereotypes of the mainstream cinema.


"Soundies" were low-budget short films featuring popular music and dance of the 1940s. Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and Lena Horne were among the many talented black musicians recorded for these precursors to music video.

Other Films

The Member of the Wedding, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Gone With the Wind, Stormy Weather, Home of the Brave, The Defiant Ones, Richard Pryor Live On the Sunset Strip, Jumpin' Jack Flash, The Cool World, Cry, The Beloved Country, Broken Strings Black Girl, Black Orpheus, Black Caesar, Black Jesus and Diva.


"Amos 'n' Andy," "Beulah," "Cosby Show," "Roots," "Backstairs at the White House," "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," "Sanford and Son," "Good Times," "The Jeffersons," "A Raisin in the Sun" and "I Spy."

To arrange onsite research viewing access, please contact the Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC).

These libraries and archives hold collections important to the study of African Americans in film and television:

Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division
Washington, DC 20540

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
New York Public Library
515 Malcolm X Blvd.
New York, NY 10037

G. William Jones Film and Video Collection
Hamon Arts Library
Southern Methodist University
P.O. Box 750356
Dallas, TX 75275-0356

Black Film Center/Archive
Department of Afro-American Studies
2805 E. 10th Street
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 474708
812-856-5832 (FAX)

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