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Of Black America: Black History; Lost, Stolen, or Strayed

Catalog Data

Written by:
Andrew Rooney, American, 1919 - 2011  Search this
Perry Wolff, American, 1921 - 2019  Search this
Narrated by:
Bill Cosby, American, born 1937  Search this
Produced by:
CBS Broadcasting, Inc., American, founded 1927  Search this
Subject of:
Stepin Fetchit, American, 1902 - 1985  Search this
Roy E Glenn, American, 1914 - 1971  Search this
Katharine Hepburn, American, 1907 - 2003  Search this
Hattie McDaniel, American, 1895 - 1952  Search this
Thelma McQueen, American, 1911 - 1995  Search this
Mantan Moreland, American, 1902 - 1973  Search this
Sidney Poitier, Bahamian American, 1927 - 2022  Search this
Isabel Sanford, American, 1917 - 2004  Search this
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, American, 1878 - 1949  Search this
Owned by:
D.C. Public Library, American, founded 1896  Search this
acetate film
Duration (Reel 1): 26 Minutes
Length (Film): 950 Feet
Duration (Reel 2): 31 Minutes
Length (Film): 1100 Feet
sound films
color films (visual works)
16mm (photographic film size)
Place used:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
This film was a part of the Washington D.C. Public Library's circulating 16mm film collection housed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Central Library. The collection is particularly noted for the wide variety of African American and African diaspora content.
A documentary film with the title “Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed” from the Of Black America television series. It consists of two (2) reels of color 16mm acetate film with optical sound.
The documentary opens with narrator Bill Cosby discussing contributions that African Americans have made to American Life, such as Norbert Rillieux's contributions to refining sugar; Jan Ernst Matzeliger's contributions to shoe manufacturing; Matthew Henson being one of the first men to successfully make an expedition to the North Pole; and Daniel Hale Williams performing the world's first open-heart surgery. Cosby then questions why these pioneering African Americans were excluded from history textbooks. After discussing the innovations of African Americans, Cosby discusses a study which compares the way white children and black children view and represent the world around them through art.
The rest of the documentary mostly focuses on African Americans in film. Cosby states that white filmmakers routinely represented black characters in ways that reinforced erroneous stereotypes about black people. He discusses films such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Birth of a Nation and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, as well as African American actors such as Stepin Fetchit, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Sidney Poitier and several others. In the final scenes, he comments on beauty culture and the practice of black men chemically straightening their hair, as well as shows footage of a man educating a small class of young children on the importance of black pride.
African American  Search this
Actors  Search this
Barbershops  Search this
Children  Search this
Documentary films  Search this
Education  Search this
Entertainers  Search this
Film  Search this
Hair  Search this
Hollywood (Film)  Search this
Identity  Search this
Public television  Search this
Science  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions likely apply. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
DC Public Library Film Collection
Of Black America
Media Arts-Film and Video
BAM (Black Arts Movement 1965-1976)
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture