Cinema In The Afro American Cinema

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Although black filmmaker such as the Johnson brothers, Spencer Williams or Oscar Micheaux had already made history in the Afro American cinema by realizing silent movies with a black casting, Ryan Jay Friedman insisted on the huge advance for the Black actors caused by the synchronization of the sound and image. : “An African American performers seemed, to some white observers, to offer remedies for these several ills of recorded-sound film production” (Maurice in Freedman, 2011, p33). The emergence of real black actors in the talking films of the 1930’s came only thus thanks to their voice who could balance with the sound recording problems. “ We are standing on the threshold of civil and cultural emancipation in America. Tonight we have…show more content…
This declaration by the Congressman Oscar Depriest acted as an opening of a very important event in the Afro American cinema: “the premier screening of Hallelujah (1929), an African American- cast feature film by Hollywood studio” . It took at least 29 years to Hollywood to release a movie with a Black casting. That is why Ryan Jay Friedman asks himself “under what conditions does the white-controlled culture industry, the cinema in particular, become interest in producing and distributing African American musical and performance culture and fictional representations of African American life? What motivates the film studios to identify black popular music and appearances by familiar African American performers as potentially attractive production features? To which particular segments of the movie audience do the studios imagine these features to appeal?” (Friedman, p29, 2011). The musician and professor of cinema studies, Krin Gabbard answers theses questions with the term “Black Magic”, title of one of his book. “Because white culture has assigned black culture a central role in its own selfdefinition while simultaneously marginalizing or erasing black people, the films that perpetuate this project must often resort to…show more content…
(Gabbard, p6, 2004). This quotation is important because we notice that jointly Hollywood appropriates the Afro-American cultural capital and marginalizes black people. Hollywood goes farther than the silent movie that marginalized and stereotyped the Afro American. According to Friedman, “ Black became the fad” because “during the Hollywood studio's conversion to synchronized-sound film production in 1929 and 1930, it became commonplace to speak of a “vogue” for “Negro films”, which “echoed” the contemporary, New York-centered white “fad” for black musical theater, jazz music and dance” . Friedman explains this vogue initially came from black music and dance. Furthermore, Friedman quotes a Variety’s journalist who reported, “The fad for all negro pictures on the coast is prompting a number of pictures and director and writers to become more familiar with the race” . The Pittsburgh Courier assured “ a lager public interest in the “Negro” which could attach itself to “Negro films”” . In that sense “ the negro invades Hollywood” and

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