A project of Riverbends Genealogical & Historical Society (www.Riverbends.org). The “race movie” or “race film” was a film genre which existed in the United States between about 1915 and 1950. It consisted of films produced for an all-black audience, featuring black casts. In all, approximately five hundred race films were produced. Of these, fewer than one hundred remain. Because most race films were produced outside the Hollywood studio system, they have been largely forgotten by mainstream film historians. In their day, race films were very popular among African American theatergoers. Their influence continues to be felt in cinema and television marketed to African Americans. [Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_movie]
This is a superb list of silent movies by and starring black performers.