Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film: Eight Star Profiles

Posted in Biography, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-10-27 20:24Z by Steven

Women and Mixed Race Representation in Film: Eight Star Profiles

302 pages
54 photos, notes, bibliography, index
7 x 10
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-4766-6338-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4766-4473-8

Valerie C. Gilbert
Seattle, Washington

This book uses a black/white interracial lens to examine the lives and careers of eight prominent American-born actresses from the silent age through the studio era, New Hollywood, and into the present century: Josephine Baker, Nina Mae McKinney, Fredi Washington, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Lonette McKee, Jennifer Beals and Halle Berry. Combining biography with detailed film readings, the author fleshes out the tragic mulatto stereotype, while at the same time exploring concepts and themes such as racial identity, the one-drop rule, passing, skin color, transracial adoption, interracial romance, and more. With a wealth of background information, this study also places these actresses in historical context, providing insight into the construction of race, both onscreen and off.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Josephine Baker: From Exotic Savage to Creole Queen
  • 2. Nina Mae McKinney: Dichotomy of a Hollywood Black Woman
  • 3. Fredi Washington: Paradox of Black Identity
  • 4. Lena Horne: Separate and Unequalled
  • 5. Dorothy Dandridge: ­Star-Crossed Crossover Star
  • 6. Lonette McKee: Mixed Race Heroine Remix
  • 7. Jennifer Beals: White But Not Quite
  • 8. Halle Berry: Imitation of Dorothy Dandridge
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Screen Title Index
  • Subject Index
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Knowledge Session: Who Was Lena Horne?

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-05-29 15:08Z by Steven

Knowledge Session: Who Was Lena Horne?

I Am Hip-Hop

Rishma Dhaliwal

Lena Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was born in Brook­lyn, New York, on June 30, 1917. Her father, Edwin “Teddy” Horne, who worked in the gambling trade, left the fam­ily when Lena was three. Her mother, Edna, was an act­ress with an African Amer­ican theater troupe and traveled extens­ively. Horne was mainly raised by her grand­par­ents, Cora Cal­houn and Edwin Horne. Yet, she still moved a great deal in her early years because her mother often took her with her on the road. They lived in vari­ous parts of the South before Horne was returned to her grand­par­ents’ home in 1931. After they died, Horne lived with a friend of her mother’s, Laura Rol­lock. Shortly there­after Edna remar­ried and Horne moved in with her mother and her mother’s new hus­band. The con­stant mov­ing res­ul­ted in Lena hav­ing an edu­ca­tion that was often inter­rup­ted. She atten­ded vari­ous small-town, segreg­ated (sep­ar­ated by race) school’s when in the South with her mother. In Brook­lyn she atten­ded the Eth­ical Cul­tural School, the Girls High School, and a sec­ret­arial school…

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