Book ID: CBB405198642

Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity (2015)


In Uplift Cinema, Allyson Nadia Field recovers the significant yet forgotten legacy of African American filmmaking in the 1910s. Like the racial uplift project, this cinema emphasized economic self-sufficiency, education, and respectability as the keys to African American progress. Field discusses films made at the Tuskegee and Hampton Institutes to promote education, as well as the controversial The New Era, which was an antiracist response to D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. She also shows how Black filmmakers in New York and Chicago engaged with uplift through the promotion of Black modernity. Uplift cinema developed not just as a response to onscreen racism, but constituted an original engagement with the new medium that has had a deep and lasting significance for African American cinema. Although none of these films survived, Field's examination of archival film ephemera presents a method for studying lost films that opens up new frontiers for exploring early film culture.

Reviewed By

Review Gerald R. Butters Jr. (2016) Review of "Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity". Journal of American History (pp. 236-237). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Savitt, T. L.
Dinerstein, Joel
Patterson, Andrea
Kornweibel, Theodore
Collins, Sibrina N.
Pohl, Lynn Marie
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Canadian Journal of History
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
Journal of American History
History of Psychiatry
University of Massachusetts Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of Minnesota Press
Cambridge University Press
New York University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
African Americans
African Americans and science
Civil rights
Popular culture
Medicine and race
Mass media
United States
Ohio (U.S.)
Southern states (U.S.)
New York City (New York, U.S.)
Maryland (U.S.)
Richmond, Virginia
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
American Red Cross

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