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Out of the Shadows [Paperback]

Jacqueline Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Price: 10.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

5 Dec 2011
Did you know that before Dooley Wilson was cast alongside Humphrey Bogart to play the iconic role of Sam in the 1942 film Casablanca, Lena Horne was considered for the part? However, America was not ready to see an interracial relationship - however platonic - between a black woman and a white man on the movie screen. If film censors of the day had not been squeamish, Ingrid Bergman could have delivered the famous request to play the song As Time Goes By to Lena Horne. Out of the Shadows uncovers gems like this as it explores the contribution black women have made to movie making in the first half of the twentieth century. It is a revealing study of how black women have been portrayed on celluloid and how they have been used as sounding boards for a segregate America's musings on American history - the civil war, Southern slavery, racial mixing and miscegenation. Out of the Shadows is also celebratory in hailing the careers of these early actors whose lives on the screen and in American society was shaped both by the complex interplay of gender and racial politics of a segregate America and a burgeoning civil rights movement which would come to fruition in the mass protests and civil disobedience of the sixties. A work of cinematic history, Out of the Shadows will apply to film buffs and students.

Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd (5 Dec 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1848767900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848767904
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,171,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jacqueline Williams has a degree in Applied Sociology and a diploma in Social Work. She worked for BBC West Midlands Radio as a freelance reporter interviewing people in the arts where she compiled a one hour radio documentary on the history of African American actors in film in the twentieth century. When writing an essay on black actors in Hollywood as an undergraduate, she was advised that there was very little information in that field so started researching this field herself.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read! 19 Feb 2012
By Dawn
What a great book! So informative and interesting on a subject that hasn't been widely covered as far as I know. Would greatly recommend this book to anyone interested in Film and/or American History.
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5.0 out of 5 stars VERY INFORMATIVE READ 21 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase
I found this book very informative on this subject matter and also compact (not overlong), in terms of the research done by the author. The writing style is pro active and interesting to read and not boring like some non fiction history books I could mention.

In terms of the historical content, the book gives an insight into the artistic creativity and struggles of black American women in that particular period of American history it focuses on; (1900-1959). For instance, Hollywood at the time, only showed maids and tragic mulattos or loose women, but in the society there were pioneering women like Ida B and Wells Barnett who was one of America's first suffragettes. And also women of the Harlem Renaissance such as Georgia Douglas Johnson , Augusta Savage and Zora Neale Hurston who were writers, poets and artists.

The book also highlights the roles played by other people from other walks of life in the same period as well. For example, Rabbi Stephen Wise who co -founded the NAACP and rich sponsors such as Nancy Cunard, (the shipping Heiress), who sponsored the works of African American artistes like the poet Langston Hughes.

The book shows that black Americans themselves, have always been involved in making films as early as the 1900's, with pioneers such as Oscar Micheaux and Nicole Johnson.

Finally, I would recommend this book to film students at any level, the lay person and any one interested in learning about this particular history subject , which has been largely been underrepresented or ignored in mainstream circles; as the book is a good source of information and concise, (reader friendly), which is important in understanding the subject the book deals with etc.

Highly recommended.
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