Looking at Black Inequality in Film: An Infographic
April 03, 2014
2013 was a landmark year in Black film with such box office smashes as The Best Man Holiday and Lee Daniel’s The Butler and critical darlings like 12 Years A Slave and Fruitvale Station making a significant mark on mainstream culture. After a decade in which black cinema has been limited to just a few established filmmakers, there appears to be real momentum in Hollywood towards encouraging new and daring voices in Black film, as epitomized by 12 Years a Slave’s Academy Award for Best Picture last month.
However, this is not the first time that audiences have embraced a variety of diverse and accomplished Black films, only for Hollywood studios to turn their attention back to more mainstream fare. In an attempt to place this current renaissance in Black Hollywood in a greater historical context, the New York Film Academy has put together a comprehensive infographic to detail 100 years of Black cinema while looking at more recent data to see how Black filmmakers and performers have been represented and employed over the past six years.
In defining "Black Film," we are referring to films in which the story centers around lead characters who are of African descent. By putting together this infographic on the state of Black inequality in Hollywood, our goal is to present a series of talking points to initiate a discussion on the role of African Americans in Hollywood and what performers, filmmakers, and audience members can do to promote real equality in Hollywood.