Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) have partnered this September to bring viewers The Black Experience on Film, a comprehensive month-long programming initiative showcasing portrayals of African Americans throughout cinematic history. Hosted by 13 different members of AAFCA from print, online and broadcast outlets throughout the country, The Black Experience on Film provides a wide-ranging retrospective from the 1920s through the 1990s.
Check out the remaining categories below:
9/18: African-American Musicals were a rarity in Hollywood when Vincente Minnelli directed Cabin in the Sky (1943), a movie version of the Broadway hit about a black gambler's efforts to get into heaven. The film stars Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Lena Horne. "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe," performed by Waters, was nominated for Best Original Song. Carmen Jones (1954), adapted from a stage musical written by Oscar Hammerstein II and based on the Georges Bizet opera Carmen, was directed by Otto Preminger and features Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in leading roles.
9/20: Strong Black Women includes Diahann Carroll in Claudine (1974), as a single mother in Harlem who falls in love with a garbage collector (James Earl Jones). John Berry directed the movie, which brought Carroll an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Sparkle (1976), shown in its TCM premiere, was inspired by the real-life group The Supremes and features Lonette McKee, Irene Cara and Dwan Smith as ambitious sisters who achieve stardom as a singing group based in Harlem. The film, directed by Sam O'Steen, attracted a cult following and was remade in 2012.
9/25: Among African-American Comedies is Watermelon Man (1970), which stars Godfrey Cambridge as a white insurance salesman who wakes up one day to find he has turned black. The movie was directed by Melvin Van Peebles and costars Estelle Parsons as Cambridge's wife. Another satire, Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle (1987), casts the writer-producer-director as a young actor who struggles to find non-stereotypical roles and fears that he's "not black enough" to succeed in the film world.
9/27: Black Stories from Around the World include Cry, the Beloved Country (1951), a British drama based on Alan Paton's novel about two South African ministers (Canada Lee and Sidney Poitier) who struggle to help individuals damaged by their country's policies of apartheid. Zoltan Korda produced and directed. Walkabout (1971) is a British-Australian drama based on the novel by James Vance Marshall and directed by Nicolas Roeg. The story concerns two white students (Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg, the director's son) who find themselves adrift in the Australian outback and must rely on aid from an Aboriginal boy (David Gulpilil) to survive.