Camille Billops was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1933. She holds a B.A. in Education (1960) from California State University and an MFA in Art (1975) from City College of New York.
Billops’s has worked in sculpture, ceramics and printmaking. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Jersey City Museum and the Museum of Drawers, Bern, Switzerland. Billops has exhibited internationally, including shows in Egypt, Colombia, Germany and Taiwan.
Billops is perhaps best known as a filmmaker of the black diaspora. Her films include “Suzanne, Suzanne” (1982); “Older Women and Love” (1987); “The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks” (1994); “Take Your Bags” (1998); and “A String of Pearls” (2002).
Billops, along with her husband James Hatch, founded the Billops-Hatch Collection, an archive of African-American memorabilia, including thousands of books and other printed materials, more than 1,200 interviews, and scripts of nearly 1,000 plays. The Collection is now housed at Emory University.
Billops is also known for “The Harlem Book of the Dead”, a collaboration with photographer James Van Der Zee and poet, scholar, and playwright Owen Dodson, which was on which was published in 1978 with an introduction by Toni Morrisson.