The films, the stars, the filmmakers-all get their due in Hollywood Black, a sweeping overview of blacks in film from the silent era through Black Panther, with striking photos and an engrossing history by award-winning author Donald Bogle.
The story opens in the silent film era, when white actors in blackface often played black characters, but also saw the rise of independent African American filmmakers, including the remarkable Oscar Micheaux. It follows the changes in the film industry with the arrival of sound motion pictures and the Great Depression, when black performers such as Stepin Fetchit and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson began finding a place in Hollywood. More often than not, they were saddled with rigidly stereotyped roles, but some gifted performers, most notably Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind (1939), were able to turn in significant performances.
In the coming decades, more black talents would light up the screen. Dorothy Dandridge became the first African American to earn a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carmen Jones (1954), and Sidney Poitier broke ground in films like The Defiant Ones and 1963's Lilies of the Field. Hollywood Black reveals the changes in images that came about with the evolving social and political atmosphere of the US, from the Civil Rights era to the Black Power movement. The story takes readers through Blaxploitation, with movies like Shaft and Super Fly, to the emergence of such stars as Cicely Tyson, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Whoopi Goldberg, and of directors Spike Lee and John Singleton.
The history comes into the new millennium with filmmakers Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Ava Du Vernay (Selma), and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther); megastars such as Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Morgan Freeman; as well as Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, and a glorious gallery of others.
Filled with evocative photographs and stories of stars and filmmakers on set and off, Hollywood Black tells an underappreciated history as it's never before been told.
About the Author
Donald Bogle is one of the foremost authorities on African Americans in films and entertainment history. His nine books include the groundbreaking Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks; the award-winning Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams; the bestselling Dorothy Dandridge: A Biography; and Brown Sugar, which the author adapted into a PBS documentary series. Bogle has appeared on numerous television and radio programs; and in such documentaries as Spike Lee's Jim Brown: All-American. He was a special commentator and consultant for Turner Classic Movies' award-winning series Race and Hollywood. Bogle teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in Manhattan.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a fascinating journey through the history of Blacks in the film industry! As I read this book, I was totally engaged. That made it very hard to put this book down. I even went to my Turner Classic Movies app to see if any of the films discussed in the book were available for viewing. The author does an excellent job of taking the reader through not only the backstories of the people discussed but also their biographies. This book belongs on the bookshelves or libraries of those interested in the history of film as well as the contributions of Black people to this industry. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book provided by the publisher and Net Galley. However, the thoughts expressed are totally my own.
Hollywood Black (Turner Classic Movies): The Stars, the Films, the Filmmakers by Donald Bogle is a brilliant book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This is a treasure trove of information in pictures and informative content on black actors, actress, and filmmakers. This book goes way back in history to stage, to black and white film, on to modern films. It highlights many stars and films that stand out for various reasons. A great history of film, social culture, and the drive of creativity. I enjoyed it completely! It brought back memories.
Hollywood Black (Turner Classic Movies) by Donald Bogle The Stars, The Films, The Filmmakers Rich with history this book begins in the early years of film then moves through the decades from the thirties through the 20th century and then a bit beyond. As I read and looked at photos I remembered movies and loved and also was reminded of the roles that black actors had played in them. Not all of the movies I remember were in this book many were. I also came away wanting to revisit some of those well remembered movies and see some mentioned that I had never encountered. I learned a great deal including the fact that there were movies made by black directors decades before I was even born. I found this book fascinating and would love to have it in my library to spend more time with in the future. I also highly recommend this book to libraries as a wonderful resource. Thank you to NetGalley and Perseus Books, Running Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars