UC Berkeley Library

African Americans in Film

Babes in Arms (1939)

Directed by Busby Berkeley. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland,Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes,Betty Jaynes, Douglas McPhail. Based on the play "Babes InArms" by Rodgers and Hart. Learning that his parents are infinancial straits, the son of a famous vaudeville team roundsup all the stage kids and puts on a lavish show to raise money.Features the music number "Daddy Was A Minstrel Man." 91 min.;
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Babes on Broadway (1941)

Directed by Busby Berkeley. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland,Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler, Ray McDonald, Richard Quine, DonaldMeek, Alexander Woollcott. One of the famous old musicals thatcombines captivating music and lavish production numbers by themaster, Busby Berkeley. The story is the standard tale of twostruggling Broadway hopefuls, and is filled with 16 song and dancenumbers. Features a blackface number with Rooney and Garland,"Waiting for the Robert E. Lee".

Baby Boy (2000)

Directed by John Singleton. Cast:Tyrese Gibson, Omar Gooding, A.J.Johnson, Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg,Tamara LeSeon Bass, Ving Rhames, CandyAnn Brown, Angell Conwell. In SouthCentral L.A., Jody has two babies bytwo different women and he still livesat home with his mom. He's trying tolive large, but doesn't have or want ajob. Growing up is tough on Jody, but aseries of events involving his mom, hernew boyfriend, his girlfriend, and herex-con ex-boyfriend all force him tolearn some hard lessons about living,loving and surviving. 130 min.

Badass Supermama

A playful, but questioning personalexploration of beauty as perceived by ablack women, looking at race, gender,sexuality, body image and representation.These inter-connected issues are examinedthrough 1970's "blaxploitation" moviegoddess Pam Grier and her characters, withclips from her films Foxy Brown and Sheba,baby. A video by Etang Inyang. 1996. 16min.

Ballast (2008)

Director: Lance Hammer. Cast: Micheal J. Smith, Sr., JimmyronRoss, Tarra Riggs, Johnny McPhail. In the cold winter light of theMississippi Delta, three lonely people stumble under the weight ofa shared tragedy. Lawrence is paralyzed with grief after thesuicide of his twin brother. Twelve-year-old James drifts into theperilous orbit of local teenagers while his single mother, Marlee,is too exhausted from her menial job to interpret the clues. Suddenviolence forces mother and son to flee their home and they alighton Lawrence's property.

Bamboozled (2000)

Directed by Spike Lee. Cast: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, JadaPinkett-Smith, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport. In a searingparody of American television, this film presents a humorouslook at how race, ratings and the pursuit of power lead to anetwork executive's stunning rise and tragic downfall. 136 min. Online Access through LFLFC.

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Band of Angels (1957)

Directed by Raoul Walsh. Cast: Clark Gable, Yvonne DeCarlo,Sidney Poitier, Efram Zimbalist, Jr., Rex Reason, CarolleDrake, Juanita Moore. The story of privileged society of theOld South centering around Amish Bond, a plantation owner witha secret past of slave trading, a freedom-yearning slave Bondhas raised as a son, and the fiery belle, well educated andborn into a good family who goes on the auction block when herpart-African heritage is revealed. Based on the novel by RobertPenn Warren. 128 min. ;

Barbershop (2002)

Director, Tim Story. Cast: Ice Cube,Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas,Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, LeonardEarl Howze, Keith David, Lahmard Tate,Cedric the Entertainer. Calvin neverwanted to take over the familybusiness, a barbershop on the southside of Chicago. One morning he decidesto sell the shop to Lester. Calvinspends the day cutting heads at theshop, and starts to understand theimportance of the legacy left to him.Calvin learns to appreciate his barberfriends, and discovers that the placewhere they work is more than just aplace to get a haircut.

Barriers (1998)

Directed by Alan Baxter. Cast: Jamaul Roots, Geoffrey Garcy,Sedley Bloomfield, Derrick Robberts, Quentin Crisp, Annie Golden. Adrama about an unlikely friendship between two black youths in NewYork City, one rich and one poor, and the barriers of race andclass that threaten to drive them apart.

Bataan (1943)

Directed by Directed by Tay Garnett. Cast: Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Nolan. WWII movie featuring what DonaldBogle has called the movies' representation of "New Negro" in the military (an increasingly sympathetic image in the war and post-waryears). Bataan features Kenneth Spencer as a black demolitions expert who figures prominantly and heroically in the action of themovie. 115 min.

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