Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Black actors, and more often than not white actors in blackface, appeared in stereotyped roles in American movies from the beginnings of the industry. Such classic directors as D.W. Griffith and John Ford mindlessly exploited blacks to counterpoint white supremacy and to bear the brunt of the focus of social and political change. Blacks, even more than American Indians, were the recipents [recipients] of the darker side of western irrationality. For example, intermarriage, long treated as a subtheme of Indian/white confrontation, met with virulent rejection in films which treated black/white relationships. Because of their growing numbers and because of long-standing cultural and social taboos, blacks on film were portrayed with insistent malice.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1985