Courses > 2006 Fall


CINE 370 - Blacks in American Film/TV

AFAM 400
401 | M 4:30-7:10

An examination and analysis of the changing images and achievements of African Americans in motion pictures and television. The first half of the course focuses on African-American film images from the early years of D.W. Griffith's "renegade bucks" in The Birth of a Nation(1915); to the comic servants played by Steppin Fetchit, Hattie McDaniel, and others during the Depression era; to the post-World War II New Negro heroes and heroines of Pinky (1949) andThe Defiant Ones (1958); to the rise of the new movement of African American directors such as Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Charles Burnett, (To Sleep With Anger) and John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood). The second half explores television images from the early sitcoms "Amos 'n Andy" and "Beulah" to the "Cosby Show," "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and "Martin." Foremost this course will examine Black stereotypes in American films and television--and the manner in which those stereotypes have reflected national attitudes and outlooks during various historical periods. This course will also explore the unique "personal statements" and the sometimes controversial "star personas" of such screen artists as Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Paul Robeson, Richard Pryor, Oscar Micheaux, Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, and Whoopi Goldberg. The in-class screenings and discussions will include such films as Show Boat (1936), the independently produced "race movies" of the 1930s and 1940s, Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Defiant Ones (1958), Imitation of Life (the 1959 remake), Super Fly (1972), and She's Gotta Have It (1986) and such television series as "I Spy," "Julia," "Good Times," "The Jeffersons," "Roots," "A Different World," "I'll Fly Away," "LA Law," and "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper."