American Slavery on Film highlights historical and contemporary depictions in film of the resistance, rebellion, and resilience of enslaved African Americans in the United States from the Antebellum period to Emancipation. In her study of such films as Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1914), a silent movie adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel; the groundbreaking and successful television miniseries Roots (1977); and the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet (2019), Caron Knauer analyzes how African American slavery has been and continues to be portrayed in major studio blockbusters and independent films alike. Separating the romanticized and unrealistic depictions of slavery from the more accurate but often unflinching portrayals of its horrors, the author covers a wide range of topics, including the impact of slavery on popular culture, the Underground Railroad, Maroon communities, and the Los Angeles Film Rebellion of the 1960s. As a result, this book delivers a comprehensive, readable, and timely examination of enslaved African Americans and slavery in America’s film history.
- Clarifies historical differences between realistic and unrealistic depictions of enslaved African Americans and slavery in film
- Highlights films written and directed by well-known and understudied African Americans
- Studies the historical impact of African American slavery on popular culture in the United States
- Provides a useful introduction to the Los Angeles Film Rebellion and its history