BLACK FILMMAKING IN THE 1930s: “Harlem is Heaven” starring Bill “Bojangles” Robinson

I have a confession. I rushed through a viewing of Harlem is Heaven (1932) last week, trying desperately to tick off another task on my to-do list, going through the motions without fully engaging. I tend to do that often—getting lost in work for the sake of work, giving into a state of mindlessness. I … Continue reading BLACK FILMMAKING IN THE 1930s: “Harlem is Heaven” starring Bill “Bojangles” Robinson

Black Filmmaking in the 1920s: “The Melancholy Dame”

The character of Sappho Dill apparently didn’t play that mess and the 1920s afforded her that luxury. The decade was a time of great economic prosperity across all populations, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, women constituted 21-25% of the workforce particularly in Northern states and in areas of the country where clerical work, factory work, and store clerk roles were available. Because working women had more autonomy to marry for love instead of survival, effectively divorce rates rose.

Black History Month: Do any of us actually know ALL the words to the Black National Anthem?

The way I grew up, you’d think my family would have sang the Black National Anthem before every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal. In reality, despite all the things I knew about Black history and all the many times I’d watched Roots, Shaka Zulu and the entire series of Eyes on the Prize, I had never … Continue reading Black History Month: Do any of us actually know ALL the words to the Black National Anthem?