By Thomas Cripps
This is often the second one quantity of Thomas Cripps's definitive heritage of African-Americans in Hollywood. It covers the interval from international battle II during the civil rights circulate of the Nineteen Sixties, studying this era in the course of the prism of pop culture. Making video clips Black exhibits how video clips expected and helped shape America's altering principles approximately race. Cripps contends that from the liberal rhetoric of the conflict years--marked because it was once by way of the propaganda catchwords brotherhood and tolerance--came video clips that outlined a brand new African-American presence either in movie and in American society at huge. He argues that the warfare years, greater than any prior period, gave African-American activists entry to facilities of cultural impression and tool in either Washington and Hollywood.
Among the consequences have been an elevated black imagery at the reveal through the war--in strive against videos equivalent to Bataan, Crash Dive, and Sahara; musicals resembling Stormy climate and Cabin within the Sky; and govt propaganda movies resembling The Negro Soldier and Wings for this guy (narrated by means of Ronald Reagan!). After the warfare, the ideologies of either black activism and integrationism endured, leading to the 'message movie' period of Pinky, domestic of the courageous, and No manner Out, a sort of racial politics that expected the targets of the Civil Rights Movement.
Delving into formerly inaccessible files of significant Hollywood studios, between them Warner Bros., RKO, and twentieth Century-Fox, in addition to files of the workplace of warfare details within the nationwide records, and documents of the NAACP, and interviews with survivors of the period, Cripps finds the fight of either lesser identified black filmmakers like Carlton Moss and significant figures equivalent to Sidney Poitier.
More than a story background, Making video clips Black reaches past the display itself with sixty pictures, many by no means prior to released, which illustrate the temper of the time. Revealing the social impression of the classical Hollywood movie, Making video clips Black is the suitable e-book for these attracted to the altering racial weather in post-World struggle II American life.
"Making video clips Black is thick description of the simplest type, a multilayered cultural and highbrow historical past of either postwar American movie and racial justice."--Journal of conversation, summer season 1995
"Cripp's genius lies up to in what he indicates us approximately what's no longer obvious at the monitor as what's. hence by myself, each scholar of twentieth-century American tradition might study a lot from examining this significant, very important book."--American old Review
"Packed with social standpoint, Hollywood studio's construction documents, own interviews and executive records, Thomas Cripps leaves no stone unturned or race comparable B-movie not noted in his very good exam of racial politics in Hollywood....Compelling and enlightening...simply a needs to for any critical research of filmmaking."--Public News
"In a invaluable successor to his 'Slow Fade to Black', Cripps provides a truly specific historical past of African americans in Hollywood from WW II in the course of the civil rights circulate of the Nineteen Fifties. Impressively researched."--Choice - December 1993
"A breathtakingly special cultural background. Key to figuring out some of the most profound institutional equipment through which racial misconceptions have been fostered, and but one way or the other used as a bridge towards confident accomplishment."--James Robert Saunders, Purdue college
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Additional info for Making Movies Black: The Hollywood Message Movie from World War II to the Civil Rights Era
I n a slic k package o f sentimen tality," sai d th e CPUSA ; " a rabi d incitemen t .. t o provok e rac e riots," said another leftist . And yet their vehemence maske d their failure to find a hook o n which to hang a more systematic attack on the movie . Indeed, Howard Rushmore o f the Worker s o struggled for an angl e tha t reflected hi s ambivalence tha t h e brok e Part y discipline and i n its eyes became a "renegade," an act followed u p by the Worker's commission ing a rebutta l b y th e blac k write r Carlto n Mos s and , a s th e vetera n CPUSA movie criti c David Platt recalled, "boot[ing Rushmore ] out " o f the Worker.
At the onset of war the Hollywood left felt the pressure from rightwing newspapers, congressiona l committees , an d eve n gossi p columnists in the Los Angeles press who served as a thought-police. Louella O. Parsons, a would-be screenwriter, an d Hedda Hopper, a failed actress, helped reduc e politic s t o a sor t o f world-cup fina l betwee n simplisti c patriots and blood-red communism. 28 Th e studios not only tolerated but even fed this meddling in their affairs , becaus e it provided a check rein on prima donn a stars .
47 For Southern lore he turned t o Mitchell's frien d Susa n Myrick of the Macon Telegraph an d Wilbur Kurtz, a Northern expatriate and Civi l War buff wh o advise d o n weaponr y an d plantatio n life—san s whips an d chains. Mitchel l reckone d tha t Myric k share d he r ow n wrynes s and , despite a pedigre e tha t include d a Confederat e general, possesse d a n "utter lack of sentimentality toward wha t is tearfully known as The Ol d South,'" couple d wit h a racia l mentalit y tha t on e blac k Georgia n summed u p to Mitchell as: "De race got two friends in dis county, sweet Jesus an d d e Macon Telegraph.