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Netflix Releases 20 Hard-to-Find Black Pioneer Films

‘Pioneers of African-American Cinema’ showcases the work of early black filmmakers


Back in 2015, Kino Lorber released a historical DVD set, Pioneers of African-American Cinema. The DVD box set contains hours of feature-length as well as short films from the 1910’s to 1940’s.

Paul Robeson in ‘Body and Soul’

Some of the most popular films included Within Our Gates and Commandment Keeper Church. The purpose of the DVD set is to showcase the work of the pioneer black filmmakers of the early 1900’s.


Recently, Netflix has made some of the films available to viewers. A total of 20 films were released.

There are quite a few gems in the collection, including Spenver Williams’ Body and Soul, which stars Paul Robeson as an escaped prisoner who becomes a reverend to a small black town. Another hit is The Bronze Buckaroo, which stars singing cowboy Herb Jeffries.

IndieWire states, “’Pioneers of African-American Cinema’ was a flagship project of Kickstarter’s Film Preservation and Restoration Initiative. The collection was curated by Charles Musser and Jacqueline Najuma Stewart and produced by Bret Wood.

Check out the collection on Netflix today!


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