UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

Black Cast Films

The Bronze Buckeroo (1939)

Directed by Richard C. Kahn. Cast: HerbertJeffrey, Lucius Brooks, Artie Young, F.E.Miller, Spencer Williams, Jr., Clarence Brooks.Bob Blake and his boys arrive at Joe Jackson'sranch to find him missing. While Slim cheatsDusty out of his money using ventriloquism andmarked cards, Blake tries to find Jackson.Learning that Thorne and his gang are holdinghim prisoner, he and his men trail them. WhenThorne's gang gets the drop on them, Slim putshis ventriloquism to work. Filmed with an allBlack cast and crew. 56 min. ; also;

The Girl from Chicago (1932)

One of Oscar Micheaux's most famous films.Starring Carl Mahon as Alonzo Smith, a youngsecret service agent, who falls in love with aschool teacher, Norma, in a small Mississippitown. Later in New York, Alonzo has to saveNorma's friend Mary from the numbers racket andis accused of murder. 69 min. ;
Credits and other information from the InternetMovie Database

Underworld (1937)

Directed by Oscar Micheaux. Cast: Bee Freeman,Sol Johnson, Ethel Moses, Oscar Polk, LorenzoTucker. Paul Bronson lusts after the decadent worldof nightclubs and casinos. His strongest desiresare reserved for the dangerously voluptuous DinahJackson, but this beautiful temptress is really the'property' of mob boss LeRoy Giles. When jealousLeRoy gets wind of Dinah's cheating, he cuts offher money and kicks her out. An angry Dinah hasLeRoy shot, and suspicion falls on Paul. Dinah isPaul's only alibi--and his only hope of avoiding along walk down death row.

Up In the Air (1940)

Directed by Howard Bretherton. Host: RichardRoundtree. Cast: Frankie Darro, Marjorie Reynolds,Mantan Moreland. A radio singer is murdered whilesinging on the air in a radio studio. Radio pageboy, Frankie Ryan, and his janitor pal, Jeff, solvethe mystery for the none-too-sharp police. 61 min. Credits and other information from the Internet MovieDatabase

Veiled Aristocrats (1932)

Directed by Oscar Micheaux. Cast: Laura Bowman,Lorenzo Tucker, Barrington Guy, Lawrence Chenault,Walter Fleming, Lucile Lewis, Carl Mahon, BernadineMason. John Warwick, a light-skinned black who haspassed for white and has become a lawyer, returnsto his home town after a 20 year absence to bereunited with his mother Molly and sister Rena.Frank, a dark skinned man has proposed marriage toRena, but Molly sends her daughter away with herson to also pass for white but Rena eventuallyrenounces trying to pass for white and is reunitedwith Frank.

Way Down South (1939)

Directed by Bernard Vorhaus. Original story andscreenplay by Langston Hughes and ClarenceMuse. Cast: Bobby Breen, Clarence Muse, AlanMowbray, Ralph Morgan, Steffi Duna, SallyBlane, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Edwin Maxwell,Charles Middleton, Robert Greig, Hall Johnsonchoir. Pre-Civil War Louisiana is the settingas young Tim Reid (Breen) tries to get hisfamily's plantation back from a group oftreacherous trustees. Breen teems up with aCajun innkeeper to foil the villain and singsome songs.

Where Is My Man Tonight? (aka. MarchingOn!) (1943)

Directed by Spencer Williams. Cast: HughMartin, Georgia Kelly, Emmet Jackson. Varianttitle: A young man, Young Rodney Tucker Jr. isleading an aimless life. His out-spoken grandfatherSamuel Tucker, a decorated army veteran, thinks themilitary would do the boy good, but Rodney wantsnothing to do with wearing a uniform. Uncle Sam hashis own ideas, and a surprising piece of mailarrives, 'inviting' Rodney to visit his local draftboard. Boot camp rubs Rodney the wrong way and hesoon goes AWOL. But if Grandpa Tucker has anythingto say about it, Rodney will make something out ofhimself yet.

Within our Gates (Library ofCongress/Smithsonian Video Collection) (1919)

Directed by Oscar Micheaux. Cast: Evelyn Preer,Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin, Jack Chenault,William Smith, Charles D. Lucas. The earliestsurviving feature directed by anAfrican-American, Within our Gates tells thestory of a young African-American woman whoseeks a Northern white patron for a Southernschool for Black children. The scenes oflynching and attempted white-on-Black rape maybe a response to D.W. Griffith's "The Birth ofa Nation". 79 min. ;

Zou Zou (France, 1934)

Directed by Marc Allegret. Cast:Josephine Baker, Jean Gabin, Yvette Lebon. Whenthe star of a musical plays walks out on hersugardaddy producer for true love, a talentedCinderella (Baker) takes her place, saves theshow, and is hailed as a new sensation onopening night. Includes five big musicalnumbers. 92 min. ;
Credits and other information from the InternetMovie Database