"Art is Business"
Join us for a post discussion on May 12, 2017
Phantom Gallery Chicago Network
436 E. 47th Strteet, Room 205
773-681-6570 RSVP Space is limited
The film is one of the earliest examples, and certainly the most ambitious extant example, of black appropriation of the emerging technology to contest representations of African Americans in mass culture.
Renee will lead a discussion on the importance of screening silent movies and their juxpostion in today racial climate.
The film was completed by late 1919 but delayed from release until January 1920 by two months of debate within Chicago’s film censor board. The major black-owned newspaper of the time, The Chicago Defender, reported on the dispute over the film’s showing, with reference to the city’s race riots the previous summer (in which twenty-three African Americans and fifteen whites died): “Those who reasoned with the spectacle of last July in Chicago ever before them, declared the showing pre-eminently dangerous; while those who reasoned with the knowledge of existing conditions, the injustices of the times, the lynchings and handicaps of ignorance, determined that the time is ripe to bring the lesson to the front.” Essay by Scott Simmon