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 FILMMAKING IN THE 1920s:   Oscar Micheaux’s “The Symbol of the Unconquered”

The movie begins with a dramatic scene. Dick Mason, an old Black prospector, lies on his death bed. His ridiculously light-skinned granddaughter and only surviving heir clinging to him, begging him to live on. Alas, old Dick meets his maker and poor, lonely Eve Mason (Iris Hall) leave Selmas, Alabama for Oristown, Missouri to claim the land her granddaddy left for her.