Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Black Hollywood Unchained edited by Ishmael Reed
In Black Hollywood Unchained, Ishmael Reed gathers an impressive group of scholars, critics, intellectuals, and artist to examine and respond to the contemporary portrayals of Blacks in films. Using the 2012 release of the film Django Unchained as the focal point of much of the discussion, these essays and reviews provide a critical perspective on the challenges facing filmmakers and actors when confronted with issues on race and the historical portrayal of African American characters. Reed also addresses the black community’s perceptiveness as discerning and responsible consumers of film, theatre, art, and music.
Twenty-eight contributors including this book’s editor, Ishmael Reed, offer insightful, informed and provocative points of view on the ever changing, yet unchanged, landscape of Hollywood and film production in America. While the 2012 release of Django Unchained was the film that generated nation-wide conversations and many of the essays in this collection, this book intentionally extends that dialogue about race, history, entertainment and the image of Blacks on the screen to include an examination of the culture of contemporary films and television. Black Hollywood Unchained is critical of the roles of actor, film-maker and viewer as it asks questions that redirect our thinking about the multi-billion dollar industry we call “the movies.”
J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, Houston A. Baker Jr., Amiri Baraka, Playthell G. Benjamin, Herb Boyd, Cecil Brown, Ruth Elizabeth Burks, Art T. Burton, Stanley Crouch, Justin Desmangles, Lawrence DiStasi, Jack Foley, David Henderson, Geary Hobson, Joyce A. Joyce, Haki R. Madhubuti, C. Liegh McInnis, Tony Medina, Alejandro Murguía, Jill Nelson, Halifu Osumare, Heather D. Russell, Hariette Surovell, Kathryn Waddell Takara, Jerry W. Ward Jr., Marvin X, Al Young