The black woman in U.S. film is the subject of "Dark Divas," the fall film and lecture series beginning Sept. 25 at Miner Auditorium, 2565 Georgia Ave. NW.

The series, sponsored by the University of the District of Columbia's Black Film Institute, was inspired by film historian Donald Bogle's book, "Brown Sugar: Eighty Years of America's Black Female Superstars."

The nine-week series will begin with a lecture and slide presentation by Bogle and experts from "Carmen Jones," the 1954 film starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, and "Black and Tan Fantasy," the 1929 short featuring Freddi Washington and Duke Ellington.

On Oct. 2, the film will be the 1934 classic, "Imitation of Life." "The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy," by Kathleen Collins, and Madeline Anderson's "I am Somebody," will be shown Oct. 9. "Georgia, Georgia," with the late Diana Sands, will be the Oct. 16 feature. This presentation will include a lecture by phychiatrist Frances C. Welsing on black female-white male relationships.

On Oct. 28 D.C. filmmaker Michele Parkerson's ". . . But She's Betty Carter" will debut in City Council chambers, with a scheduled appearance by the subject of the film, jazz singer Betty Carter.

African filmmaker Sara Maldoror's "Sambizinga" will be shown Oct. 30, with commentary by Francoise Pfaff, associate professor of French at Howard University. Michael Schultz's "Lorraine Hansberry" is the Nov. 6 feature. The series concludes Nov. 13 with a program dedicated to black female vocalists. Bill Quinn, former assistant editor of Downbeat magazine, will be guest speaker.

For further information about the Oct. 23 presentation, which will run from 6 to 8 p.m., call 727-2396. All programs in the series are free and open to the public.

The Black Film Institute is sponsored by UCD's division of learning resources, with the support of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities.