Saturday, August 20, 2022

Special Colored Feature -- August 20, 2022

Vicksburg Evening Post, 15-August-1922

Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer in producing what were known as race films. 100 years ago this month, his film The Dungeon was showing at the Princess Theater in Vicksburg, Mississippi. "A grim, gripping drama of the underworld in seven reels." The film is probably lost. 

I did not find many references to race films in August 1922. Perhaps this is because many theaters closed during the hot season.

Washington Times, 03-August-1922

Someone was trying to sell a "Large Colored Theater" in Washington, DC.

Chicago Whip, 26-August-1922

The musical revue A Mississippi Sunset was playing at the Sunset Cafe in Chicago. "Entire Production Staged Under the Personal Supervision of Clarence E. Muse of New York." Muse wrote the music, co-wrote the book and performed. During the sound era, he appeared in many movies, both race films and mainstream films. 

San Francisco UHF station KEMO had a program called The Worst of Hollywood, hosted by  Bob Deckelman. One Friday night he interviewed Clarence Muse. I wish I could remember more about the interview. 

Motion Picture News, 05-August-1922

Meanwhile, back in the mainstream, Lewis J Selznick, father of David O, announced that his organization had signed an African-American comedian, Douglas Carter. The IMDB says Carter appeared in only five movies, the last released in 1924.

Motion Picture News, 05-August-1922

And in the benighted state of Georgia, the Imperial Kluk of the Ku Klux Klan and a bunch of his minions went to see a movie in which some characters wear Klan-like robes. 

Tulsa Tribune, 13-August-1922

The Tulsa Tribune ran a whole page of ads for companies that wanted to tie their businesses to night riders.

Omaha Guide, 09-August-1947

I jumped ahead to look at August 1947, seventy-five years ago, and found that the Brumbaugh of Omaha bookstore sold Micheaux's novels. Black Boy must have been Richard Wright's memoir. Color Blind may have been Margaret Halsey's book about racism in Georgia. Kingsblood Royal was a novel by Sinclair Lewis. The main character learned he was of African ancestry. 

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