'Black history is black horror': The absurdly terrifying reality of black life

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A still from Atlantiques, which is set in a small village neighbouring Dakar, Senegal. (Photo: Film Still)
A still from Atlantiques, which is set in a small village neighbouring Dakar, Senegal. (Photo: Film Still)

In the conventional sense, horror refers to a genre of film that looks to evoke a fear and terror of the unknown and supernatural. Horror noire is more an offshoot of the indie film industry, a direct result of black filmmakers being relegated to the peripheries of the mainstream. This genre transcends terror to reflect the absurdly terrifying lived experiences of black life as a result of systemic racism and inherited trauma.

Horror Noire refers a genre of horror pioneered by black writers and directors, depicting ideas of horror more rooted in social commentary. 

First cited in 2011, the term is taken from Dr Robin Means Coleman's book Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s. 

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