The 197 films represented by this collection of movie promotional and advertising materials cover a variety of types of motion pictures, from obscure all-black cast silent films by the Norman Film Manufacturing Company, to movies with supporting and starring roles for African Americans and modern all-black cast films. The collection includes representative coverage of legendary film artists such as Dorothy Dandridge and Sidney Poitier, and more comprehensive coverage of the classic era of Blaxploitation films, the 1970s.
The collection contains over 250 separate press books, campaign books, advertising manuals, supplements and other ephemeral promotional booklets, broadsides or single sheet publications, and posters designed for the use of theater distributors, dating from the independent Black films of the 1920s to 2000. The collection also includes some souvenir program booklets sold at theaters, and two published hardcover books.
Press books are no longer made. They were often extremely elaborate and profusely illustrated, containing many diverse articles about the film, the stars and the filmmakers, as well as ad mattes for proposed publicity campaigns, detailed plot synopses, cast and crew credits, etc. Also featured are small versions of posters available to local theaters. The ad campaigns alone provide a great deal of information about how the actors, directors, and films were promoted in the press and in theater displays. Virtually everything contained in this collection is ephemeral in nature. Even the more recent press kits were never publicly distributed or sold, and are also scarce, possibly unique.
Unless otherwise noted, all the promotional pieces in this collection are of U.S. origin. There are a few items from Great Britain, Denmark, Japan, Germany, and France.
Additional information appears in many but not all of the inventory entries. Some entries include a designation for the type of material, e.g., press book, advertising supplement, promotional booklet, theater program, press book insert, etc. while some entries include a copyright date for the material (especially when this date differs from the film's date). Many entries include the names of one or more of the African-American actors, actresses, singers, directors, screenplay authors or producers involved with the film; however, such lists are selective, not comprehensive. A substantial number of the entries in the inventory also include descriptive comments by the dealer, George Robert Minkoff Inc., and quotes or references selected by the dealer from the following sources: Bogle = Bogle, Donald. Blacks in American films and television: an encyclopedia. Bogle II = Bogle, Donald. Toms, coons, mulattoes, mammies, and bucks: an interpretive history of Blacks in American films.