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Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  23 reviews
From King Kong to Candyman, the boundary-pushing genre of the horror film has always been a site for provocative explorations of race in American popular culture. In Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from 1890's to Present, Robin R. Means Coleman traces the history of notable characterizations of blackness in horror cinema, and examines key levels of black part ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published June 20th 2011 by Routledge
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Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Horror films come out of the imaginations of a diverse cadre of image-makers."

The documentary Horror Noire was one of the best things I watched last year, and I was very excited to learn that it was based on a book. This book is very well-researched and informative, and I learned about a lot of movies that I haven't seen.

I think the documentary and book are really good companions - the book goes a little more in-depth into the synopses, but getting to see people's faces while they talk about m
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads, horror
Coleman's Horror Noire offers a fascinating exploration of race in American culture through an examination of the roles Blacks played in front of and behind the camera in horror films from the 1890s through the late 2000s.

Coleman, who's a professor in both the department of Communication Studies and Afroamerican and African Studies at University of Michigan Ann Arbor, spends time upfront drawing the distinction between Black horror films and Blacks in horror films (the former having a narrative
Jul 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Robin R. Means Coleman takes us through the history of Blacks and Black representation in horror movies, focusing of course more on Blacks as represented in movies made by Whites since the majority of the canon is under that banner. Coleman, through extensive research and experience with horror movies, breaks down Black representation, its heights and valleys (and, when you get into films as early as Birth of a Nation, where a valley of racist imagery is being kind). The era of Blacksploitation, ...more
Tati Lopatiuk
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leitura bem interessante, dá pra aprender muito sobre o contexto de produção de muitos filmes desde a invenção do cinema e como eles se encaixam em questões sociais como racismo, homofobia e misoginia.
Ana Paula
Oct 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um livro COMPLETÍSSIMO para discutir a representação e participação negra no cinema de horror! Que trabalho de pesquisa e texto maravilhosos!
Tom Goulter
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book, very clever and full of observations that cast a whole new light on many of the best horror movies. Coleman is the kind of horror viewer who makes the whole genre better for her participation.
juicy brained intellectual
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
robin r. means coleman thankfully doesn't do dense theory like, say, carol j. clover but she does offer a lot to feminist-friendly horror criticism/history. this is a fantastic overview of black ppl in horror and she brings two important ideas to the table: "blacks in horror" vs "black horror" and her Black Enduring Woman, which is a sister in theory to clover's tired Final Girl.

one thing that bummed me out a little, for entirely personal preferential reasons, is that while she spent a lot of ti
This is a must for horror fans. While it was written in 2011 so it's not as up to date as it could be, it traces, analyzes, and explores the role of Black people in American horror films from the 1890s to the early 21st century. From BIRTH OF A NATION to KING KONG to WHITE ZOMBIE to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to CANDYMAN, Coleman goes in depth as he slowly deconstructs how Black people have functioned in horror films as time has gone on, and how the Black film community has made responses to the w ...more
Updated related review for August 2021.

The "Candyman" Reboot Subverts Cinematic Tropes of Black Suffering

At one point in the long-awaited new film Candyman, billed as a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 cult horror flick by the same name, a character is heading toward an inevitable confrontation with the monster. We’ve seen this moment a thousand times. The character knows now that evil is afoot. She knows that it’s of a supernatural variety. Blood has been shed. Her every step is measured and caut
Queria Estar Lendo
Horror Noire começou como uma pesquisa acadêmica da Dra. Robin R. Means Coleman e acabou dando origem a um livro e um documentário que explora a representação negra no cinema de terror desde o seu nascimento, no fim do século XIX até os anos 2000. O livro foi publicado no Brasil pela editora DarkSide Books - que nos cedeu um exemplar para a resenha.

Assim que a DarkSide Books anunciou Horror Noire eu fiquei louca para ler. Gosto muito de filmes de terror e analisar a representação das minorias em
OJ Svartheim
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
The topic of equal rights and embracing diversity is always an important one. And as someone who's always trying to be mindful about that, as well as being a huge fan of horror movies, I was initially intrigued by how this book combined and explored these two elements. And it's done in a way that, I hope, makes the reader aware that maybe it's sometimes a little bit too easy for some of us to take certain horror tropes with a grain of salt, not so much because we don't care as it is because of t ...more
I know it's hard to shove every horror movie in this book but I would've loved a discussion on 2004's "Dawn of the Dead" starring Ving Rhames, or a note on "Return of the Living Dead 3" which quite possibly has one of the most egregious examples of a magical negro character. But, overall this was a thorough and fantastic read.

(shame it was written just slightly too early and couldn't include Jordan Peeles horror rennaissence with "Get Out" but alas, that's hat the Shudder doc is for.)
Really interesting discussion of race and horror films. Made me rethink how I am discussing horror in my dissertation. Most of the films discussed were new to me--I really do not watch a lot of horror films LOL. However, I think I got more out of the documentary version/adaptation of the book, because the visuals really helped me understand some of what was described on the page.
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film, non-fiction
Coleman chronologically writes about blacks in horror films, differentiating between "Black Horror" and "Blacks in Horror." Some of the fims she speaks about, especially in the early centuries, may not qualify as horror in the traditional sense, but their depiction of racism is quite terrifying. ...more
Paul Wilson
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the analysis, but too much of the text was dominated by film synopses.
Doris Raines
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Karen Kohoutek
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nobody needs to me to tell them that this book is great, but it is. Read it!
Bigamama V
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent start to learning about the beginnings of African Americans in Horror movies and Black Horror movies. A great companion to the documentary 'Horror Noire' on Shudder. ...more
Isadora Torres
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
brasileiros, leiam.
já dizia et bilu: busquem conhecimento.
Autumn J Bee
Feb 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
Incredibly interesting and so well researched.
Could easily read again after having watched more of the films she references.
Jun 17, 2022 marked it as to-read
Sunni Jacocks
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Coleman made me feel like I was watching the films she described in not only the way that made me feel present but also in a way where I felt the history and the racism embedded in a lot of what we consider to be “great” films. I felt like Peele had read this and thought to himself, this is my new project, to make films where Blacks are at the center, no longer the jezebels, mammys, and candymans. I look forward to seeing the documentary. I’ll be at the edge of seat because this book is truly ho ...more
Steve Wiggins
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very good introduction to the experience of African-Americans in the horror movie genre. Sometimes an uncomfortable read, but well worth it. See a fuller review at Sects and Violence in the Ancient World. ...more
Geeky Spice
rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2021
Julia Fischer
rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2021
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Oct 15, 2021
Marcos Hinke
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2019
Ken H.
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Jun 27, 2022
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Feb 12, 2021
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