Pearl Bowser, a film historian, curator and collector who was instrumental in preserving and bringing to light the works of Black filmmakers died on Sept. 14 in Brooklyn. She was 92. Her daughter Gillian Bowser confirmed the death.
Ms. Bowser developed an interest in the forgotten works of early Black filmmakers in the 1960s when, while working as a researcher on a colleague’s idea for a book about Micheaux, she traveled to California from New York to interview aging actors who had been in movies made by Micheaux decades earlier.
Ms. Bowser made films herself, including Midnight Ramble, a documentary she made with Bestor Cram for the PBS series The American Experience about “race movies,” as films made by Micheaux and others for Black audiences were called. In the late 1960s Ms. Bowser also wrote a newspaper cooking column. In 1970, with Joan Eckstein, she published her best recipes in a book, A Pinch of Soul.
In 1955 she married LeRoy Bowser, who would later become a regional vice president of the National Urban League. He died in 1986. Her daughter Gillian survives her. Another daughter, Joralemon Bowser, died in 1978.