Indiana native donates black film materials to IU

Indiana University
(WISH file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana native who became an advocate for black filmmakers has donated a large collection of materials from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame to an Indiana University film center.

Mary Perry Smith’s donation to IU’s Black Film Center/Archive includes more than 300 linear feet of records, publications and memorabilia from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, which Smith co-founded.

Her donation also includes the original grave maker of Oscar Micheaux, who in 1919 became was the first African-American filmmaker to produce a feature-length film.

Smith was born in Evansville in 1926 and currently lives in Oakland, Calif. She decided to donate the collection after meeting with the director and archivist of the IU’s Black Film Center/Archive.

Once the collection is processed, it will be made available for researchers. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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