The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has announced the discovery of 101-year-old film footage that may include the earliest surviving depictions of African Americans actors on screen. The footage is unedited daily rushes made in 1913 of a film that was never released. The seven unedited reels of film were found among 900 negatives that were acquired by the museum in 1939 when the Biograph Studio in the Bronx closed.
The film starred Bert Williams, the Bahamian comedian and recording artist who was a major figure in Vaudeville.
Stills from the film will be part of an exhibit entitled 100 years in “Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History” that will be shown at the museum from October 24, 2014 through March 2015. The world premiere of the seven reels of film will be shown at the museum on November 8.