(Well OK, 94 years really) We start with the directors:
Oscar Micheaux’s silent protest film Within Our Gates (1920) and 1938 musical Swing!
Mr. Micheaux founded his own film studio in 1919 (in Chicago no less) and went on to produce, script and direct 44 films. Read more about this pioneering filmmaker at: http://www.naacp.org
Sidney Poitier began directing films in the 1970’s including the 1974 comedy Uptown Saturday Night. Micheal Schulz’s Cooley High (1975) was filmed in Chicago. Look for Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater founder Jackie Taylor in the cast.
Also: Oz Scott’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide (1982), Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) Malcolm X (1992) 4 Little Girls (1997) When the Levees Broke (2006) and Passing Strange (2009) as well as The Films of Spike Lee (1997); Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust (1991) and The Rosa Parks Story (2001); John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood and Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats (both 1991); Charles Burnett’s The Glass Shield (1994) and Warming by the Devil’s Fire (2003); Maya Angelou’s Down in the Delta (1998), Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher (2002), Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls (2010) and Ice Cube’s Something From Nothing (2012).