Jim Crow & Jezebel Go To Hollywood
The power of cinema to shape public perception is as old motion pictures themselves. In the late 19th century, Jim Crow was the term for a system of laws and policies designed to maintain racial segregation. Jezebel was a featured character in Southern literature at that time, an irresistible black woman seducing white men. The silent films of the early 20th century offered a powerful new medium for re-enforcing these stereotypes. It was an inexpensive entertainment. Millions of new immigrants went to the movies and absorbed Hollywood’s version of race in American history.
Cedric Robinson, political theorist and black studies professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, wrote the seminal bookBlack Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. He passed away in June 2016.