Digital Collections

[Buck and the preacher], 1971

African American Film Materials

Promotional image from Buck and the Preacher, 1971

Dorothy Dandridge and Billy Brown in The Harlem Globertrotetrs, 1951

Promotional photo for
The Harlem Globetrotters, 1951

Denzel Washington, William Allen Young, and Larry Riley in A Soldier's Story, 1984

Still from A Soldier's Story, 1984

Muhammad Ali in The Greatest, 1977

Muhammad Ali in The Greatest,

Lola Falana in The Liberation of L.B. Jones, 1970

Promotional photo from
The Liberation of L.B. Jones, 1970

[Richard Pryor live on the Sunset Strip press book], 1982

Richard Pryor pressbook,
"Live on the Sunset Strip," 1982

Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967

Promotional photo for 1967's
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

About the Collection

Holding library: DeGolyer Library

View more collections held by DeGolyer Library.

Sidney Poitier in Raisin in the Sun.Overview

The African American Film Materials digital collection provides a sample of photographs and pressbooks from films featuring African American actors. The collection is from SMU's DeGolyer Library, and includes 4,254 film stills, lobby books, pressbooks, posters, and related items from motion pictures spanning nearly 40 years.

Highlights and Holdings

This digital collection is remarkable for the variety of film genres and the caliber of talent represented. One of the most notable actors of his generation, Sidney Poitier appears in more than half a dozen films in the collection, including works like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and To Sir, with Love.

The collection also includes images of other renowned actors like Ben Vereen (All that Jazz), Ruby Dee (A Raisin in the Sun), Billy Dee Williams (Brian's Song), Richard Pryor (Stir Crazy), Harry Belafonte (Buck and the Preacher), Denzel Washington (A Soldier's Story), Ossie Davis (Countdown at Kusini), Muhammad Ali (The Greatest), the Harlem Globetrotters, and many more.


Thanks to the generous permission of Sony Pictures Entertainment, 421 items in the DeGolyer Library’s African American Film Materials accession have been made available to the general public via this digital collection.

Watch full-length feature films from African American filmmakers in these SMU Libraries digital collections:

Items in SMU Libraries Digital Collections are digitized following the nCDS Digitization Guidelines and Procedures. Digital collections are created under the guidelines of the Digital Collections Workflow and Metadata Guidelines, or through specialized metadata profiles tailored for the collection.

Images in this collection are protected by copyright law. The rights to all 422 items in this digital collection belong to Sony Pictures Entertainment. Each item contains information about usage terms. These files may be freely used for educational purposes, provided they are not altered in any way, and the copyright line is cited. No commercial reproduction or distribution of these images is permitted without the written permission of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). For licensing inquiries, please contact SPE at, or visit the Sony Pictures film licensing website.

For more information about the collection, please contact