Show Business: Artifacts of a Lost Culture

A Texas find quickens interest in black film history

They paused for only a moment, most of them, in those dim, drafty, primitively equipped studios on the far fringes of the motion-picture industry. They did their gigs, these black performers, without hope that they might somehow break through to the great white audience or achieve the dream of immortality. Their pressing concern was whether the producer's minuscule check was going to bounce. They passed into history not as indelible screen images but as fond, fading, sometimes discomfiting memories shared by a minority audience or,...

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