Slow Fade to Black

ISBN-10: 0195021304
ISBN-13: 9780195021301
Edition: 1993
Authors: Thomas Cripps
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Description: Set against the backdrop of the black struggle in society, Slow Fade to Black is the definitive history of African-American accomplishment in film--both before and behind the camera--from the earliest movies through World War II. As he records the  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.99
Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/3/1977
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 464
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Set against the backdrop of the black struggle in society, Slow Fade to Black is the definitive history of African-American accomplishment in film--both before and behind the camera--from the earliest movies through World War II. As he records the changing attitudes toward African-Americans both in Hollywood and the nation at large, Cripps explores the growth of discrimination as filmmakers became more and more intrigued with myths of the Old South: the "lost cause" aspectof the Civil War, the stately mansions and gracious ladies of the antebellum South, the "happy" slaves singing in the fields. Cripps shows how these characterizations culminated in the blatantly racist attitudes of Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, and how this film inspired the N.A.A.C.P. to campaignvigorously--and successfully--for change. While the period of the 1920s to 1940s was one replete with Hollywood stereotypes (blacks most often appeared as domestics or "natives," or were portrayed in shiftless, cowardly "Stepin Fetchit" roles), there was also an attempt at independent black production--on the whole unsuccessful. But with the coming of World War II, increasing pressures for a wider use of blacks in films, and calls for more equitable treatment, African-Americans did beginto receive more sympathetic roles, such as that of Sam, the piano player in the 1942 classic Casablanca. A lively, thorough history of African-Americans in the movies, Slow Fade to Black is also a perceptive social commentary on evolving racial attitudes in this country during the first four decades of the twentieth century.

The Unformed Image: The Afro-American in Early American Movies
The Year of The Birth of a Nation
Two Early Strides toward a Black Cinema
Black and White in Hollywood
The Silent Hollywood Negro
Uncle Tom Was a "Bad Nigger"
The Black Underground
Two Cheers for the "Indies"
"Better Than White Voices"
Black Music, White Movies
The Hollywood Negro Faces the Great Depression
Meanwhile Far Away from the Movie Colony
The Politics of Art
Notes
Index

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