Black Magic: White Hollywood and African American Culture / Edition 1

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New Brunswick, NJ 2004 Trade paperback New ed. New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 344 p. Contains: Illustrations. Jazz & American Culture S.

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Overview


Why do so many African American film characters seem to have magical powers? And why do they use them only to help white people? When the actors are white, why is the sound track so commonly performed by African Americans? And why do so many white actors imitate black people when they wish to express strong emotion?

As Krin Gabbard brilliantly reveals in Black Magic, we duly recognize the cultural heritage of African Americans in literature, music, and art, but there is a disturbing pattern in the roles that blacks are asked to play-particularly in the movies. Many recent films, including The Matrix, Fargo, The Green Mile, Ghost, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Pleasantville, The Bridges of Madison County, and Crumb, reveal a fascination with black music and sexuality even as they preserve the old racial hierarchies. Quite often the dependence on African American culture remains hidden-although it is almost perversely pervasive. In the final chapters of Black Magic, Gabbard looks at films by Robert Altman and Spike Lee that attempt to reverse many of these widespread trends.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813533841
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction : Sarah in Wonderland 1
Ch. 1 Marlon Brando's jazz acting and the obsolescence of blackface 19
Ch. 2 Borrowing black masculinity : Dirty Harry finds his gentle side 51
Ch. 3 Passing tones : The talented Mr. Ripley and Pleasantville 73
Ch. 4 The racial displacements of Ransom and Fargo 107
Ch. 5 Black angels in America : millenial solutions to the "race problem" 143
Ch. 6 Evidence : Thelonious Monk's challenge to jazz history 179
Ch. 7 Revenge of the nerds : representing the white male collector of black music 199
Ch. 8 Robert Altman's jazz history lesson 235
Ch. 9 Spike Lee meets Aaron Copeland 251
Conclusion 275
Notes 279
Works cited 293
Index 305
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