Returning The Gaze: A Genealogy Of Black Film Criticism, 19091949
- Publish Date: 2001-04-02
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Anna Everett
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Culling black newspapers, magazines, scholarly and political journals, and monographs, Everett has produced an unparalleled investigation of black critical writing on the early cinema during the era of racial segregation in America. Correcting the notion that black critical interest in the cinema began and ended with the well-documented press campaign against D. W. Griffiths Birth of a Nation, she discovers that as early as 1909 black newspapers produced celebratory discourses about the cinema as a much-needed corrective to the predominance of theatrical blackface minstrelsy. She shows how, even before the Birth of a Nation controversy, the black press succeeded in drawing attention to both the callous commercial exploitation of lynching footage and the varied work of black film entrepreneurs. The book also reveals a feast of film commentaries that were produced during the roaring twenties and the jazz age by such writers as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as additional pieces that were written throughout the Depression and the pre and postwar periods. Situating this wide-ranging and ideologically complex material in its myriad social, political, economic, and cultural contexts, Everett aims to resuscitate a historical tradition for contemporary black film literature and criticism.
Returning the Gaze will appeal to scholars and students of film, black and ethnic studies, American studies, cultural studies, literature, and journalism.
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