Tag Archives: Quartzy

The first ever movie kiss with an African-American couple — Quartzy

In 1898, when it wasn’t uncommon for minstrels to perpetuate racist stereotypes and for vaudeville shows to use blackface, a 29-second silent picture depicted a touching moment between two African-American lovers.

The restored film opens on a couple with lips locked in a kiss. The lovers pull back, smiling and swinging their arms, and then embrace and kiss again.

The film, called Something Good – Negro Kiss, is thought to be the earliest known depiction of African-American intimacy on screen in the US. Film scholars at the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California recently uncovered the film and dated it to 1898, thanks in part to the distinctive camera used by the filmmaker, a former vaudeville performer.

This week, the silent film entered into the US Library of…

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Shonda Rhimes is taking on the the Great Migration for Netflix — Quartzy

From 1916 to 1970, about 6 million African-Americans moved from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West. While more than 90% of African-Americans lived in the South in in 1910, this was true of only 53% in 1970. Referred to as the Great Migration, it is the largest internal movement of any group in American history.

Due to racism and economic inequality, the Great Migration has been largely ignored in popular American culture—until now. On Friday (July 20), the New York Times reported that television producer Shonda Rhimes is creating a show based on the Great Migration for Netflix (paywall). It is among eight programs being developed by Rhimes for the streaming giant, part of an agreement that will pay her at least $150 million.

Rhimes couldn’t have picked better source material….

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The poignant power of the Met’s African American Portraits exhibition — Quartzy

Some are sailors standing tall in uniform, others graduates in their caps and gowns. There are boys wearing their finest suits, women smiling in fur coats, and parents cradling newborns. The subjects are by and large unidentified, as are many of the photographers who captured them.

Part of an exhibition titled “African-American Portraits: Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s,” now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, these 150-plus images offers a rare glimpse of the African-American experience during a defining era—World War II, the end of the Great Depression, and the dawn of civil rights.

“In the age of the smartphone, acts of self-expression are at one’s fingertips 24/7,” says Jeff Rosenheim, curator of the department of photographs at The Met….

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