African Americans and the Oscar: Decades of Struggle and Achievement / Edition 2

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At the 2007 Academy Awards® ceremony, an unprecedented number of Black performers received acting nominations, and two of the statues awarded that evening went to Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson. Indeed, since 2000, more African Americans have received 'scars than in the previous century. While the last few years have seen more and more Black performers receive acknowledgment by the Academy, it hasn't always been that way. African Americans and the 'scar®: Decades of Struggle and Achievement highlights the advancements Black performers have made on the silver screen and how those performances were honored by the Academy. In the Academy's first 40 years, less than ten African Americans were cited for their work on screen and only two, Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier, received competitive awards before the 1980s. This book profiles all the nominees and recipients of the coveted award in the acting, writing, and directing categories, beginning with the first: McDaniel's Best Supporting Actress win for her role in Gone with the Wind (1939). Each entry, organized chronologically and by name, provides valuable information about how the role or film was viewed during its time and also places it in historical context by drawing connections to other related awards or events in film history. In the introduction, Mapp's overview of the nomination process helps explain the historically low percentage of African Americans who have been nominated or received the honor. Also, appendixes provide lists of non-acting/directing nominees and winners, overlooked performances, and performers of nominated songs. Highlighting the achievements of Sidney Poitier, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Spike Lee, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington and others, this volume provides an enlightening history of the Black experience in Hollywood and will fascinate fans of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Fall 2009 Black Camera
Edward Mapp's African Americans and the 'scars illuminates the history of African American presence in Hollywood. Offering both plot synopses and biographical sketches, readers have at hand a useful reference book revealing the who, what, when, where, and why of each nomination . . . The book is a valuable addition to any film library. It informs, entertains, and will satisfy any film buff's love of trivia. Being able to smoothly assemble this much information is evidence of the breadth of Mapp's research and the longevity of his work in film history as an educator, archivist, and major collector of African American film posters . . . Mapp's well-chosen anecdotes reveal the motivations of the talents that have challenged and changed our cultural identity. His portraits align many artists with cornerstones of African American values: family, church, education, social uplift, and the continuing struggle for equal rights. For those who have received multiple nominations, Mapp is able to draw a fuller picture of the many forces that shape an actor's character and career . . . The vignettes of African Americans and the 'scars project a larger picture of African American involvement in shaping our social consciousness. The artists represented are a mix of tragic icons, durable figures, revolutionaries, one-hit-wonders, and obscure talents. This book celebrates their common integrity, courage and creativity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810861060
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 218
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.61 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Mapp is professor emeritus of Speech and Communications, City University of New York. He is the author of Blacks in American Films: Today and Yesterday (Scarecrow, 1972) and Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts (Scarecrow, 1990), and co-author of A Separate Cinema, Fifty Years of Black-Cast Posters. His vast collection of original Black-cast film posters was presented in 1996 to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its Margaret Herrick Library.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
1939 Hattie McDaniel, Gone with the Wind     1
1946 James Baskett, Song of the South     5
1949 Ethel Waters, Pinky     7
1954 Dorothy Dandridge, Carmen Jones     9
1958 Sidney Poitier, The Defiant Ones     11
1959 Juanita Moore, Imitation of Life     13
1963 Sidney Poitier, Lilies of the Field     16
1967 Beah Richards, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner     19
1969 Rupert Crosse, The Reivers     21
1970 James Earl Jones, The Great White Hope     23
1972 Diana Ross, Lady Sings the Blues     25
1972 Cicely Tyson, Sounder     27
1972 Paul Winfield, Sounder     29
1974 Diahann Carroll, Claudine     31
1981 Howard E. Rollins Jr., Ragtime     33
1982 Louis Gossett Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman     35
1983 Alfre Woodard, Cross Creek     37
1984 Adolph Caesar, A Soldier's Story     39
1985 Margaret Avery, The Color Purple     41
1985 Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple     43
1985 Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple     45
1986 Dexter Gordon, 'Round Midnight     47
1987 Morgan Freeman, Street Smart     49
1987 Denzel Washington,Cry Freedom     51
1989 Morgan Freeman, Driving Miss Daisy     53
1989 Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing     55
1989 Denzel Washington, Glory     58
1990 Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost     61
1991 John Singleton, Boyz N the Hood     63
1992 Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game     66
1992 Denzel Washington, Malcolm X     68
1993 Angela Bassett, What's Love Got to Do with It?     71
1993 Laurence Fishburne, What's Love Got to Do with It?     73
1994 Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption     75
1994 Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction     77
1996 Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire     80
1996 Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Secrets & Lies     83
1997 Spike Lee, 4 Little Girls     86
1999 Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile     88
1999 Denzel Washington, The Hurricane     91
2001 Halle Berry, Monster's Ball     94
2001 Will Smith, Ali     97
2001 Denzel Washington, Training Day     99
2002 Queen Latifah, Chicago     101
2003 Djimon Hounsou, In America     102
2004 Jamie Foxx, Collateral     104
2004 Jamie Foxx, Ray     106
2004 Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby      108
2005 Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda     111
2005 Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow     114
2005 Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda     116
2006 Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond     117
2006 Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls     119
2006 Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls     122
2006 Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness     125
2006 Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland     128
Filmographies     131
African American Oscar Nominees (Non-Acting/Directing/Writing)     165
Overlooked Worthy Performances by African American Actors     167
African American Performers of Nominated Songs at Oscar Ceremonies, A Select List     169
Bibliography     173
Index     177
About the Author     191
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