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The intention of this list is to highlight the best books on the black cinema genre, whether they're movie reviews, poster collections or cultural references specific to the African American experience during the late 20th century.

This list was last updated on 18 Dec 2005.

Click on the title to read more about or buy the book.


Black Action Films

James Parish & George A. Hill
The best academic text on the genre, an essential purchase. Plots, Critiques, Casts and Credits for 235 Theatrical and Made-For-Television Releases.

Blaxploitation Films

Mikel J. Koven
Great little pocket guide to the films of the genre. Cheap and cheerful - an ideal stocking-filler.

Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman

Fred Wesley
Anyone who is interested in music should read this book. A powerful, honest and fascinating insight into the life of a man who has dedicated his life to music, Fred tells it how it really is. Life on the road, life with James Brown, life with George Clinton, the battle between making a buck and making music you're proud of. Also includes good coverage of his work on the Black Caesar and Slaughter's Big Rip Off soundtracks.

That's Blaxploitation!

Darius James
Roots of the baadasssss 'tude: rated X by an all-white jury! A very funky and personal account of the genre, Darius reviews many movies and talks about folks from Melvin Van Peebles to the Black Panther. Recommended.

What It Is, What It Was!

G + D. Martinez, A. Chavez
The black film explosion of the '70s in words and pictures. An excellent and colorful book, packed with interviews with stars, directors and major fans, plus poster photos and stills. Highly recommended as a good introduction.

Airtight Willie and Me

Iceberg Slim
Iceberg Slim classic.

Attack of the 'B' Movie Posters (The Illustrated History of Moves Through Posters Series Vol. 14)

Bruce Hershenson
Comprehensive and well-illustrated guide to beautiful B-movie posters.

Black American Cinema

Manthia Diawara
From the Afi Film Readers series

Black and White Media

Karen Ross
Black Images in Popular Film and Television

Black Film/White Money

Dr. Jesse Algeron Rhines
Jesse Algeron Rhines is an assistant professor of political economy in the African American and African Studies Department at Rutgers University at Newark. He is an assistant editor for Cineaste magazine and co-editor of the magazine's section, "Race in Contemporary American Cinema."

Black Hollywood

Gary Null
From 1970 to Today


Nelson George
Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies

Blacks in Black and White

Henry T. Sampson
A Source Book on Black Films

Brown Sugar: Eighty Years of America's Black Female Superstars

Donald Bogle
A good overview of the many highly talented and often overlooked black female artists of the last century.

Cinemas of the Black Diaspora

Michael T. Martin
Diversity, Dependence, and Oppositionality (Contemporary Film and Television)

Desegregating the Dollar

Robert E. Weems Jr.
African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century

Facets African-American Video Guide

Patrick Ogle
Useful film guide to black cinema

Framing Blackness

Ed Guerrero
The African American Image in Film (Culture and the Moving Image)

From Sambo to Superspade

Daniel J. Leab
The Black Experience in Motion Pictures

Georgette Harvey Story, The

Carol Speed
Not content with simply acting in many of the key films in black cinema of the 1970s, Carol Speed turned to writing in the 1980s and has written books, articles and even a musical! Her latest work is a historical novel about three generations of black women.

Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Movie Posters (The Illustrated History of Movies Through Posters, Volume 11)

Bruce Hershenson
More classic movie posters.

Inside Black Hollywood

Carol Speed
Now out-of-print, this classic by Carol 'Abby' Speed has been added to the list to make you aware that it's out there in second hand book stores?

Pimp: The Story of My Life

Iceberg Slim
Dark, descriptive and vivid account of ghetto life through the eyes of a pimp. A genre classic.


Tracy Funches & Rob Marriott
An excellent visual and written guide to today's pimps and their lifestyle.

Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies

Bell Hooks
A useful overview of the many social issues in film.

Separate Cinema, A

John Kisch
Fifty years of black movie posters


Monique Guillory
Black Power, Politics, and Pleasure

The Afro-American Cinematic Experience

Marshall Hyatt
An Annotated Bibliography and Filmography

The Pimp Game: Instructional Guide

Mickey Royal
Mickey Royal tells it how it is.

The Pimp's Bible: The Sweet Science of Sin

Alfred Gholson
An all-round account of pimping, how to make it, and a history of the pimp.

Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films

Donald Bogle
Does exactly what it says on the cover. 'Nuff said.

Trash: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters

Jacques Boyreau
An uneven but good selection of movie poster art.

Trick Baby

Iceberg Slim
Johnny O'Brien has a black mother and a white father. This is his story - growing up in the ghetto.

All site contents ©2005 The author has asserted his moral rights. Cover scans, album reviews, all other text content and/or pictures may only be used by prior permission of But what the hell, I'm a nice guy, so drop me a line!