Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American by Judith Weisenfeld

By Judith Weisenfeld

From the earliest years of sound movie in the USA, Hollywood studios and self reliant manufacturers of "race movies" for black audiences created tales that includes African American non secular practices. within the first booklet to check how the flicks developed photographs of African American faith, Judith Weisenfeld explores those cinematic representations and the way they mirrored and contributed to complex discourses approximately race, the social and ethical requisites of yankee citizenship, and the very nature of yankee identity.

Drawing on such textual resources as studio construction documents, censorship files, and discussions and debates approximately faith and picture within the black press, in addition to delivering shut readings of movies, this richly illustrated and meticulously researched e-book brings non secular reviews and picture historical past jointly in cutting edge ways.

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Additional info for Hollywood Be Thy Name: African American Religion in American Film, 1929-1949

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Warner Bros. 14 Vidor understood that the studio feared that white southerners would interpret the release of an all-colored-cast film as a political statement. In numerous comments to the press during the production period the director attempted to dismiss any connection between his film and campaigns for civil rights for African Americans by articulating a set of small goals and insisting that he had no intention of having an impact on American politics. ” Louella Parsons, a Hollywood gossip columnist for the Hearst newspapers, reported that “Mr.

His approach incorporated existing traditions of representations in popular culture of black religion as simple and instinctive and therefore appropriate for the childlike Negro. For Vidor, a focus on religion was fundamental to his portrayal of black life. In addition to using commonplace images of black religion, Vidor amplified these images by insisting on the connection between religion, race, and sexuality, presenting black religion as extraordinarily embodied, fundamentally sexual, and available as a spectacle.

During the wake Zeke has a profoundly moving religious experience that opens up the possibility of genuine spiritual and moral transformation for this central character. He cannot bring himself to mourn with the others and instead lies on the ground outside, weeping. His father joins him and tries to console him, insisting that he has not come to judge Zeke and reminding him that God forgives. Zeke asks his father for help, and Pappy, telling him that God has sent an angel to show him the way, points to the sky and describes the angel’s snow white robe and chariot.

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