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Forgeries of Memory and Meaning: Blacks and the Regimes of Race in American Theater and Film Before World War II

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  20 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Cedric J. Robinson offers a new understanding of race in America through his analysis of theater and film of the early twentieth century. He argues that economic, political, and cultural forces present in the eras of silent film and the early "talkies" firmly entrenched limited representations of African Americans. Robinson's analysis marks a new way of approaching the int ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published December 17th 2007 by University of North Carolina Press (first published December 1st 2007)
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John
Nov 09, 2011 John rated it liked it
Robinson's claim is that "capitalism" controlled theatrical and filmic representations of blacks and reinforced a "new racial regime" from the late 19th century into the mid 30s. He works to find instances, though, where the regime was challenged--however fleetingly--by certain films and dramatists. A behemoth of a book that gets bogged down on regular occasions in the intricacies of its details and research and often takes curious side-tracks. More importantly, Robinson adheres to too-strict bi ...more
Adryan Glasgow
While the writing style is a bit over-wrought, this is a highly readable history of how black characters were used in imperial propaganda. Far from dry, Robinson helps you see the people and personalities who fought on both sides of this particular culture war. So many of the black intellectuals he quotes from the first half of the 20th century could easily publish the same work today.
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