Book ID: CBB195877199

Cinema Civil Rights: Regulation, Repression, and Race in the Classical Hollywood Era (2014)


From Al Jolson in blackface to Song of the South, there is a long history of racism in Hollywood film. Yet as early as the 1930s, movie studios carefully vetted their releases, removing racially offensive language like the 'N-word.' This censorship did not stem from purely humanitarian concerns, but rather from worries about boycotts from civil rights groups and loss of revenue from African American filmgoers. Cinema Civil Rights presents the untold history of how Black audiences, activists, and lobbyists influenced the representation of race in Hollywood in the decades before the 1960s civil rights era. Employing a nuanced analysis of power, Ellen C. Scott reveals how these representations were shaped by a complex set of negotiations between various individuals and organizations. Rather than simply recounting the perspective of film studios, she calls our attention to a variety of other influential institutions, from protest groups to state censorship boards. Scott demonstrates not only how civil rights debates helped shaped the movies, but also how the movies themselves provided a vital public forum for addressing taboo subjects like interracial sexuality, segregation, and lynching.

Reviewed By

Review Cara Caddoo (2016) Review of "Cinema Civil Rights: Regulation, Repression, and Race in the Classical Hollywood Era". Journal of American History (pp. 248-249). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
McBride, David
Fouché, Rayvon D.
Olakanmi, Ololade
Savitt, Todd Lee
Hoover, Eddie
Washington, Harriet A.
American Quarterly
Journal of the National Medical Association
Canadian Journal of History
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Journal of American History
American Heritage of Invention and Technology
The University of North Carolina Press
Rutgers University Press
University of Massachusetts Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Oklahoma Press
Duke University Press
African Americans
African Americans and science
Civil rights
Technology and race
Popular culture
Mass media
United States
North America
Central America
Richmond, Virginia
New Orleans (Louisiana, U.S.)
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late
American Red Cross

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