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Sound Films (Talkies)

black released technology talking

SOUND FILMS (Talkies). With the advent of sound picture technology in 1923, moving pictures eventually found a voice and visual story telling took on another dimension. Shortly after The Jazz Singer , 1927, became the first theatrically released talking film, and more theaters were wired for sound, the race for the first all-black talking film began. Acknowledging the vast talents of black performers when it came to song and dance, Fox released Hearts in Dixie , 1929, while MGM followed with Hallelujah , 1929, released in both a silent and a sound version. Despite this modern, state-of-the-art technology, many of the early talkies maintained derogatory stereotypes, such as blackface, when it came to depicting black characters. A suitable black dialect was also introduced. The Maverick filmmaker Oscar Micheaux partnered with two white Harlem theater owners to continue making films into the sound era. His first talkie was A Daughter of the Congo , 1930. Several popular actors of the silent screen were forced to retire because the sound of their voice did not match their strong, visual, on-screen presence.

[back] Sorrell, Maurice(c. 1914–1998) - Photographer, Chronology, Captures the Civil Rights Movement through the Lens

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