Movies have been a major source of entertainment for people all around the world for over a century. They have the power to transport us to different worlds and introduce us to different cultures.
However, it is no secret that the film industry has struggled with diversity and inclusivity over the years. The representation of black women in cinema, in particular, has been a topic of discussion for a long time. In this article, we will explore the first movie to star a black woman.
The first movie to feature a black woman in a leading role was “The Homesteader,” released in 1919. The film was directed by Oscar Micheaux, who is widely regarded as the first major African American filmmaker. “The Homesteader” tells the story of Jean Baptiste, a young black man who moves from the city to a rural homestead with his wife, played by actress Evelyn Preer.
Evelyn Preer was not only the first black woman to star in a leading role but also one of the most successful actresses of her time. She appeared in several other films directed by Oscar Micheaux, including “Within Our Gates” and “Body and Soul.”
It is worth noting that there were other films featuring black women before “The Homesteader.” However, these films were mostly low-budget productions with limited distribution. “The Homesteader,” on the other hand, was widely released and received critical acclaim.
The representation of black women in cinema has come a long way since “The Homesteader.” Today we see more diversity and inclusivity in movies than ever before. Actresses like Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, and Taraji P. Henson have become household names thanks to their powerful performances on screen.
In conclusion, “The Homesteader” directed by Oscar Micheaux featuring Evelyn Preer was the first movie to star a black woman in a leading role. It paved the way for more diverse representation in cinema and helped to break down barriers in the film industry.