Today: April 17, 2024

Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art

From exploitation, to celebration, from stereotypes, to icons, Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art – shows how black people have been portrayed in film from the earliest days of Hollywood to the present day.

Reel Art Press’ magnificent volume is, however, more than just a feast for the eyes. Every image in this giant, 320-page volume has a story to tell of the courageous and pioneering black filmmakers who dared to challenge the status quo by bringing black stories, entertainers, and artists to the big screen. As Henry Gates Jr. says, in his fascinating Forward,“Viewing the [posters] together in this collection helps us trace, in a novel way, the evolution of both the genre of black film (including films by black directors, and films about black people), and the representation of the black self in the history of film.”

Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art is part history book, part nostalgia kick, with over 260 images taken from The Separate Cinema Archive — the most extensive collection of black film memorabilia in the world. The result is an eclectic selection, curated, not chronologically, but by theme — of the best of the best black poster art. Images included come from over 30 countries, and cover a 100 years of cinema history — all presented in one stunning coffee table volume.

Separate Cinema is that rare thing. A book designed to appeal to the senses that also feeds the mind. Originally published in 2014, this reprinted, tenth anniversary edition has lost none of its power to impress.

Separate Cinema: The First 100 Years of Black Poster Art is (ISBN: 9781909526068) by John Duke Kisch, is published by Real Art Press (RAW) and available to buy now.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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