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“They’ve Gotta Have Us” Explores the Rise of Black Cinema in Hollywood

The history of Hollywood is as ugly as it is beautiful. You can go back and look at decades of iconic films that have graced the silver screen, from Gone with the Wind (1939) to Citizen Kane (1941) to North by Northwest (1959). Most notably absent from Hollywood history, however, are Black-produced films. When movies did feature Black characters, they were always written by White writers and directed by White directors. The stories were never centered around Black people focusing on what it means to be Black.

Developed by Simon Frederick, They’ve Gotta Have Us (2018) is a limited series on Netflix that explores the rise of Black cinema in Hollywood. From The Birth of a Nation (1915) to Black Panther (2018), and everything in between, They’ve Gotta Have Us offers a comprehensive and compelling look at Black representation in film, and the surge of Black-produced cinema.

I’ve mentioned before that some of my favorite classes I took in college were film history courses. I love contextualizing movies, and seeing how every film influenced the next. However, I learned virtually nothing about the parallel history of Black cinema in Hollywood. They’ve Gotta Have Us proves to be incredibly enlightening, exploring so many facets of Hollywood history that were previously unknown to me.

See full article on Incluvie: “They’ve Gotta Have Us” Explores the Rise of Black Cinema in Hollywood



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Nathanael Molnár

I’ve been writing about movies since 2014. I studied film at Fitchburg State University, and I’ve written and directed some short films. @nathanaelmolnar