The History

Black Participation in Horror

White films were separate from Black Films  from the beginning of the Cinematic industry’s inception. This was also true for genre films, such as  Horror.

For Black Horror there are 3 pockets of main participation the

1930s – 1970s – 1980s/90s.

White Horror began with the 1930 interpretations of European folklore/stories and some Caribbean mythology appropriated for American audiences-Frankenstien, The Mummy, Dracula. Blacks representation in these films was sparse and often as a servant or comic relief, even if the subject matter (like Zombification) was germain to the black experience. These films gained a following, which in turn lead to a science fiction period with little to no black participation in the 1950s/1960s. Space exploration on screen saw little POC participation.

The second pocket of Black participation in horror would link to the Exploitation films and Grindhouse Cinema 1970s. This movement also exploited Blackness (dabbling in Black action films then BlackHorror in the late 70’s) Film like Ganja & Hess, Blacula, and Abby were some of the more well known black horror in this sub-genre.

Towards the early 1980s horror returned to the Suburbs to resume the predominantly  White -centric Horror trend of slasher films once again with relegated Black (and POC) participation. The antithesis to this was Urban Horror like Basket Case, Wolfen, Tales from the Horror, which offered horror with cultural diversity reflecting the ethic truths of modern major cities like NYC.

 Women’s Participation in Horror


Books on Black Horror

Horror Noir

My Final Girl

Books on Women in Horror

Men, Women, & Chainsaws

Monsterous Feminine

Recreational Terror

Powers of Horror