WATCH: First on-screen kiss between Black people gets remixed with ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ score
The silent, black and white short was captured in 1898 and just added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry
This is the kind of remix we probably can all agree on.
On Wednesday, a short silent film, Something Good-Negro Kiss, that’s believed to be the earliest cinematic depiction of Black love was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The clip, dated in 1898, was one of 25 films chosen for its long-lasting importance to American culture, along with Brokeback Mountain, Jurassic Park, and The Shining.
The film was rediscovered by scholars at the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California. It starred vaudeville stars and dance partners Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown is “free of stereotypes and racist caricatures, a stark contrast from the majority of black performances at the turn of the century,” according to the University of Chicago.
The couple, a man in a suit and bowtie and the woman wearing a frilled dress are on screen for less than 30 seconds. They hug. They kiss. They swing their arms and share another kiss.
So simple. So meaningful. So cinematic.
And now it has an updated touch.
On Wednesday, Twitter user @kyalbr saw the short clip as a chance to remix it to the score of the highly-anticipated film If Beale Street Could Talk, by Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) based on James Baldwin’s 1974 novel about young Black love in Harlem, scheduled to hit theaters on Christmas Day.
Hi, I’m me.
And when I found out film scholars announced today that they restored an **1898** microfilm they believe is the earliest cinematic depiction of African-American love
did you fucking think that I *wouldn’t* immediately score it using IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK? pic.twitter.com/tI3k3HV7xq
— KYLE (@kyalbr) December 14, 2018
The tweet already has been seen more than 677,000 times, retweeted more than 9,000 times and liked nearly 32,000 times – figures sure to climb as it continues to go viral.