With the help of Seagram’s – Mumm VSOP Cognac,
Ebony Magazine did a feature story on the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Inc.
in October 1986 entitled “A Coast to Coast Salute to Black Filmmakers.” The Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Inc was again
recognized in Ebony magazine in 1988 in an feature article entitled “From Oscar
Micheaux to Eddie Murphy Black America’s Rich Film History.”
In addition, Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame was featured on Entertainment Tonight, local television stations Channel 2,4,5, 7, and 9, and radio stations KDIA and KSOL.
Below are selected Special Events sponsored by the BFHFI:
Urban League Convention In Los Angeles 1978.
1. Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Company donated its space at the 1978 convention for an Exhibit of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Inc. Brock Peters and his wife were special guest.
Special Award Presentation and Tribute to Lena Horne in 1978.
2. Lena Horne was shocked and surprised when she received the Oscar Micheaux Award from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame during her second curtain call at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco where she was performing with Clifton Davis in “Pal Joey.” Lena Horne was unable to attend the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Awards show at the Paramount Theater in Oakland when she was actually inducted in 1975.
3. Harry Belafonte was presented his 1983 Paul Robeson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theater Arts backstage at the Paramount Theater in Oakland in 1984. He was unable to attend the 1983 Oscar Micheaux Awards where his daughter Sheri Belafonte Harper received the Clarence Muse Award. Harry Belafonte was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.
4. Promotion and sale of tickets for Theatre Party for Whoopie Goldberg’s one woman show “Mom’s Mabley” at the Deharo Theatre in San Francisco in 1984 before she became a star in the Color Purple.
5. Promotion and sale of tickets for Debbie Allen who was starring in “Sweet Charity” in San Francisco in 1985. Debbie Allen received the Clarence Muse Award from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.
6. Eartha Kitt was presented with her 1975 Oscar Micheaux Award and her handprints were taken in San Francisco in 1986. She was unable to attend the Oscar Micheaux Awards in Oakland in 1975 when she was officially inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame at the Paramount Theater. She later attended the Seagram’s VSOP Cognac Ebony Magazine event in Chicago in October 1986 entitled “A Coast to Coast Salute to Black Filmmakers.”
7. Promotion and sale of tickets for the movie “A Piece of The Action.” James Earl Jones was the actor who came to Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre in 1977 to interact with and answer questions from the audience.
8. Promotion and sale of tickets for the screening of the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Bea Richards was the actress who came to Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre to interact with and answer questions from the audience.
9. Promotion and sale of tickets for the movie “Strictly Business” starring Halle Berry and Tommy Davidson in 1991. Tommy Davidson came to Oakland to interact with and answer questions from the audience.
10. Promotion and sale of tickets for the movie “Malcolm X.” in 1992. Spike Lee who received the Clarence Muse Youth Award from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1988 gave the organization all revenues derived from the showing of the film at the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland.
11. Private basketball game at Laney College in April, 1983 where Marvin Gaye and members of his band competed with members of KDIA and KSOL radio stations and members of the Golden State Warriors. He then performed at Circle Star Theater in San Carlos on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
12. KOOL cigarettes and Phyllis Hyman’s promotion group chose the Black Filmmakers to participate in their cigarette giveaway and promotion program and receive a grant from the company. Phyllis Hyman performed at a park in West Oakland around 1985,
13. In 1995, UC Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archives conducted a series of films during the month of August called “Black Exploitation’s Back.” Black film actress Pam Grier, who appeared in many of the so-called black exploitation films, and was a frequent participant in Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame programs over the years was the guest speaker on August 1, the opening night of the film series.
14. In 1999 Halle Berry was presented with the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Vision Award for producing and starring in the HBO film “Introducing Dorothy Damdridge.” The movie “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” was screened at the Paramount Theater in Oakland and Halle Barry attended a reception in Oakland’s Preservation Park.
15. The cast and crew of “Girlfriends” were honored by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 2005.
16. Kodak sponsored the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame “Black Filmworks” in 1990, and several additional years, which was a festival of Black films written, directed, and produced by independent Black filmmakers. This program was derived from Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame International Independent Film Competition, Symposium, and Film Lecture Series begun back in the 1970s. When Kodak stopped sponsoring “Black Filmworks,” Belva Davis and Ave Montague then took the program to San Francisco where it became and still is known as the annual San Francisco Black Film Festival which is presented in February during Black History Month.
17. The 16th, 17th, and 18th (1989, 1990, and 1991) Oscar Micheaux Awards Shows were televised and distributed through national syndication by Uniworld, who brought on AT&T and Kodak as sponsors of the entire Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame weekend, including the Gala Dinner Dance, Oscar Micheaux Awards Show, and the educational programs (Film Lecture Series, Symposium, Meet the Director Series, International Independent Film Competition)
These VHS tapes of the Awards show were converted to DVDs and they ran continuously during an Exhibition at the Jazz Heritage Center in San Francisco in February, 2011. I also showed the following DVDs “100 years of Blacks in Cinema,” “Oscar’s Strange Odyssey,” from Hattie to Halle” and “The First 50 Years of Blacks on Television.”
These tapes ran in the Media Center and were shown in the Lobby to Yoshi’s patrons by closed circuit television Hundreds of 8x10 photographs were scanned and displayed on large museum type panels which hung in the lobby going into Yoshi’s and other places in the Jazz Heritage Center