The 50 Most Influential Black Films In Chronological Order

Posted by jcmaziquemd on September 6, 2010

#1 Johnson vs. Jeffries Fight Film 1910

"In the early 1900s, the only film images of blacks were degrading to say the least. Racist films such as the Masher 1907, and the short comedy spoof, The Wooing and Wedding of a coon, both featured white actors in blackface and reduced black entertainment value on film to the lowest common denominator. But on July 4,1910 in 10 degree heat,film cameras rolled at an outdoor boxing ring near me Reno, Nevada. The odds were 10:6 in favor of Jim Jeffries, who came out or retirement to become a reluctant Great White Hope, only to be pummelled and knocked halfway out of the ring by Jack Johnson, a black man
As a result of Johnson’s victory at least ten people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured due to white retaliation, riots and wild celebrations in the streets. For the first time in history there was, indisputably, a black heavyweight champion of the world.
However, the US Congress passed a law that made it a federal offense to transport moving pictures of prize fights across a state line–overnight of of the most powerful and important portrayals of a black man ever captured on film was made virtually invisible by a set of specially concocted laws and. regulations


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