From Sambo to Superspade: The Black Experience in Motion Pictures

By Daniel J. Leab | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

IN CHRONICLING the development of the black movie image I benefited greatly from the encouragement and advice of Jay Leyda. Other patient friends read and commented on various chapters; for this, thanks go to James Boylan and Linda K. Kerber as well as to Lisa Pontecorvo, who drew my attention to various items I otherwise would have missed. Conversations with my Columbia University colleagues Nathan Huggins, Hollis Lynch, and Elliott Skinner were helpful and enlightening. I was also aided in my quest for film material by James Card of Eastman House, Sam Kula, formerly archivist of the American Film Institute and now curator of the National Film Archive of Canada, Patrick Sheehan of the Library of Congress, and Bebe Bergstern of Historical Films.

My search for stills was enormously eased by the help I received from the curators of the stills collection of the British Film Institute. And the staff of the Theater Collection of the New York Public Library were generous to the extreme in their help and thoughtfulness, as were librarians at Columbia University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Schomburg branch of the New York Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art, and the National Film Archive.

Columbia College students Garry Gail, Sol Grossman, David Ritchie, and Peter Tuttle guided me in my use of the black press. Nancy Estes was able to type from my handwriting, a praiseworthy feat often accomplished under difficult conditions.

A special note of thanks is due Doris Safie, my former secre-

-vii-

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From Sambo to Superspade: The Black Experience in Motion Pictures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Intruduction: the Lack of Humanity 1
  • 1 - Gamut from a to B 7
  • 2 - The Birth of a Nation 23
  • 3 - The Freezing of an Image 41
  • 4 - All-Colored -- but Not Very Different 59
  • 5 - Shufflin' into Sound 83
  • 6 - A Limited Response 119
  • 7 - Glimmers of Change 145
  • 8 - A Pale Black Imitation 173
  • 9 - Toward a New Image 197
  • 10 - Black Is Boxoffice 233
  • Notes 265
  • Notes 267
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 289
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