During the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s Marcus Garvey led a widely popular "Back to Africa" movement. The Black King is a ham-handed "satire" on Garvey and his effort.
At the Rise and Shine Baptist Church in Logan, Mississippi, Charcoal Johnson (A.B. Comathiere) replaces old Deacon Jones. Charcoal announces his back-to-Africa project and proceeds to separate his gullible followers from their money while smoking the best cigars and wooing willing women. Sug (Knolly Mitchell) attempts to win Mary Lou (Vivianne Baber) back from Charcoal while exposing his financial mismanagement.
This is one of the white-produced race movies that features all the worst stereotypes of most Hollywood productions of the day - Charcoal is portrayed as a kind of scheming "Kingfish" who rolls his eyes and constantly mangles the language. Newsreel footage of real back-to-Africa parades is integrated into this fictional hodge-podge. The Black King amply demonstrates why bottom-of-the-barrel director Bud Pollard never made it off Poverty Row and why Southland Pictures made only this one film. They even misspelled A.B. Comathiere’s name in the credits!
-Eric Schaefer, Exploitation Film Historian
Mike JacksonOther cast:
Mary Jane Watkins, A.B. CamathiereDirected by: