1. “Why No One Is Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Feature Film.” Godfrey Cheshire explains that it has to do with The Birth of a Nation.
“No less crucial, of course, was the movie’s lingering impact on film and other media, some of it rather bitterly ironic. While it surely helped launch the American feature film industry, and its phenomenal box-office success was envied by moviemakers forever after, the controversy and polemical fire generated by The Birth of a Nation proved a negative incentive for Hollywood producers, who in later decades scrupulously avoided racial themes and relegated African-American characters to background roles as mammies, butlers, and entertainers. It would be nearly a half-century before America’s movie and TV screens saw the emergence of prominent, realistic African-American characters—whose relative dearth even today remains a topic of debate and media soul-searching.”