Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity
“Pictorial Sermons”: The Campaign Films of Hampton Institute, 1913–1915
2015. "“Pictorial Sermons”: The Campaign Films of Hampton Institute, 1913–1915", Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity, Allyson Nadia Field
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This chapter focuses on the industrial film production of Hampton Institute, which made three films between 1913 and 1915. Two of the films were fictionalized narratives of a student’s progress through the institute; the other was a nonfiction exhibition of the work done at the school. This chapter argues that Hampton sought to avoid Tuskegee’s troubles by assuming control over the actual production of the films themselves. This chapter further argues that the motion picture productions made at Tuskegee as well as Hampton are important components of the history of sponsored and industrial filmmaking. These historical excavations lead to a new account of how cinema functioned within the broader uplift project, serving as a key component of uplift education that appealed, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to a variety of audiences.