Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Rajack-Talley, Theresa

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Best, Latrica

Committee Member

Best, Latrica

Committee Member

Smith, Siobhan

Author's Keywords

Black Film; African American Film; Black Cultural Identity; Control; Power; Movies


The Black Film Industry emerged with the goal of challenging the misrepresented images of African Americans that were promoted in early American Films. The Black Film making process promoted a centrality of stories told from an Afrocentric point of view. This thesis analyzes how Black Film has been defined over the last sixteen years and how it has impacted American society. Films that were made by or in collaboration with African American writers, directors, and producers with a focus on the African American community (its values, cultural aesthetics, and practices) and featuring an all or primarily Black cast were found to be indicative of Black Film. Black Films offer a more holistic representation of African Americans that challenge the common stereotypes and stereotypical roles that are often included in mainstream film productions. Furthermore, the stories within these films recount relatable common experiences of African Americans and embody African American cultural elements that celebrate Black Cultural Identity.