Black films in America, local author recalls his experience

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–From his early days growing up on the North Side of Columbus, Wil Haygood often remembers going to the cinema.

“I grew up, in Columbus, and my mother allowed me to go to the Garden Theater on High Street, every Sunday,” said Haygood, an author, and journalist.

While at the theater, Haygood saw some of the most famous actors in history on-screen, but never saw himself.

“I never as a kid, at the Garden Theater, saw a Black face on screen,” said Haygood.

That feeling is something that stuck with him over the years, even when he left Ohio, to pursue a career in journalism.

Until one day, he wrote an article for the Washington Post, called “A Butler Well Served by This Election,” which received critical acclaim and was turned into a feature film.

This further inspired Haygood to write stories about Black history, including this novel titled, “Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World.”

“It is about, their hard journey to be major players in mainstream filmmaking. And it stretches, you know, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s right up, to where we are, in the country, right now,” said Haygood.

Haygood says he hopes his novel not only shines a light on racism in cinema and inspires change while creating more black artists in his own city.

“And so if in some small way I’m able to give back to my hometown, where I had a lot of wonderful teachers. That they all have an opportunity to come to this event,” said Haygood.

Haygood will be in Columbus this weekend and throughout next week promoting his novel.

You can find a link to his appearances throughout the city at

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