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African American Cinema through Black Lives Consciousness

Edited by Mark A. Reid

African American Studies, Filmmakers, Cultural Studies

Published: January 2019
ISBN: 9780814345481
Pages: 152 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 34 b&w illus.
Published: January 2019
ISBN: 9780814345498
Pages: 152 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 34 b&w illus.
Published: January 2019
ISBN: 9780814345504

African American Cinema through Black Lives Consciousness uses critical race theory to discuss American films that embrace contemporary issues of race, sexuality, class, and gender. Its linear history chronicles black-oriented narrative film from post–World War II through the presidential administration of Barack Obama. Editor Mark A. Reid has assembled a stellar list of contributors who approach their film analyses as an intersectional practice that combines queer theory, feminism/womanism, and class analytical strategies alongside conventional film history and theory. Taken together, the essays invigorate a "Black Lives Consciousness," which speaks to the value of black bodies that might be traumatized and those bodies that are coming into being-ness through intersectional theoretical analysis and everyday activism.

The volume includes essays such as Gerald R. Butters’s, "Blaxploitation Film," which charts the genre and its uses of violence, sex, and misogyny to provoke a realization of other philosophical and sociopolitical themes that concern intersectional praxis. Dan Flory’s "African-American Film Noir" explains the intertextual—fictional and socio-ecological—dynamics of black action films. Melba J. Boyd’s essay, "‘Who’s that Nigga on that Nag?’: Django Unchained and the Return of the Blaxploitation Hero," argues that the film provides cultural and historical insight, "signifies" on blackface stereotypes, and chastises Hollywood cinema’s misrepresentation of slavery. African American Cinema through Black Lives Consciousness embraces varied social experiences within a cinematic Black Lives Consciousness intersectionality.

The interdisciplinary quality of the anthology makes it approachable to students and scholars of fields ranging from film to culture to African American studies alike.

Mark A. Reid is professor of English at the University of Florida. He is the author of Redefining Black Film; Black Lenses, Black Voices: African American Film Now; PostNegritude Visual and Literary Culture; editor of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing; and co-editor of Le Cinéma noir Américain.

Contributors Include:
Karen Bowdre, Melba Joyce Boyd, Kimberly Nichele Brown, Chesya Burke, Gerald R. Butters, Anne Cremieux, Mark D Cunningham, Dan Flory, Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, Jr., Jonathan Munby, Charlene Regester, Mark A. Reid, James Smalls

Offers valuable insight into the question of Blackness and creates space for continued dialogue and debate.

– Eric Pierson, professor of communication studies, University of San Diego

Reid's volume is an excellent roadmap for investigating Black film, useful for scholars and move buffs alike.

– Clifford Thompson, Cineaste