From Blackface to Blaxploitation: Representations of African Americans in Film

Norman Film Manufacturing Company

The Norman Film Manufacturing Company was established by Richard Norman in 1920 in the East Arlington area of Jacksonville. Norman, a native of Springfield, Florida, was a traveling filmmaker for a decade before he moved back to his home state and soon bought the bankrupt Eagle Film Studios complex. During his time as a traveling filmmaker he produced several local shorts for Midwestern towns featuring their local talent. In 1916 he produced The Green-Eyed Monster which saw wide release and some years later he remade this film featuring an all-black cast. It is still unknown why Richard Norman began producing “race films” but it is quite possible that he was also dissatisfied with the representations of African Americans in motion pictures, much like his Black contemporaries the Lincoln Motion Picture Company and Oscar Micheaux. From 1920 to 1928, Norman Studios would release at least eight full-length “race films” but copies of many of these films have been lost.