Book review of Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World by Wil Haygood

For anybody who isn’t steeped in movie historical past, Haygood offers a helpful service by recalling the few films made by White producers and administrators within the pre-civil rights period that dealt severely with race points. Notable amongst these are the 1934 and 1959 movie diversifications of the Fannie Hurst novel “Imitation of Life,” a narrative a few light-skinned Black girl who “passes” for White. However largely, this era of complete White management of Hollywood is remembered for perpetuating ugly stereotypes and humiliating potential Black stars. Hattie McDaniel might have been the primary Black performer to win a supporting actress Oscar, for her function as Scarlett O’Hara’s maid within the 1939 movie model of “Gone With the Wind.” However when McDaniel “performed the function of Mammy to the hilt,” Haygood writes, she took “a vaunted place in extending a stereotypical and painful picture of Blacks on-screen” — and ended her profession taking part in the identical drained maid function within the radio and TV sequence “Beulah.” Dorothy Dandridge, touted by the White movie world as a shocking star within the making after her sultry flip within the 1954 movie “Carmen Jones,” 11 years later was discovered bare on the toilet ground of her L.A. residence, lifeless of a capsule overdose on the age of 42. Of the Black stars who gained any form of success within the mainstream film enterprise earlier than the Fifties, solely Lena Horne appears to have emerged along with her head held excessive, by sustaining her distinguished singing profession and the steely satisfaction that, as Haygood remembers, as soon as led her to bash an ashtray over the pinnacle of drunken White diner who known as her the n-word at a Polynesian restaurant in Beverly Hills. | E book evaluate of Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Movies in a White World by Wil Haygood


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