Evolution of African Americans in Film

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Evolution of African Americans in Film

Category: Essay

Subcategory: Film and Theater

Level: College

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Evolution of African Americans in Film
Institutional Affiliation

Since Hattie McDaniel played Mammy, African Americans roles in films have stirred much controversy. Through most of the 20th century, African-American roles in films were limited to servants. Their roles were meant to communicate three themes; segregation, thug life or a tale of rags to riches. Even in the current film industry, African-American roles fall under similar typecast themes. Hollywood always has and will still have a direct influence on cinema globally. African American first presented in Hollywood in 1949. However, they were limited to The Tom, the coon, the mulatto, the mammy, and the buck. The presence of African American actors and films directors have gone a series of evolutions from acting as stereotypical maid roles to presenting speeches at the academy awards. Hollywood had been avoiding African-American actors/actress due to racial discrimination in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This essay will, therefore, emphasize the evolution of African Americans in Film from the early 1900s to date.
Keywords: Mulatto, Mammy, Buck, Racism, Hollywood.
Evolution of African Americans in Film
In 1903, the first black actor to ever appear on the screen starred in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. During this period, African American was limited to playing The Tom, the coon, the mulatto and the mammy and the buck. After that, Bill Foster became the first African American who enhanced the pro…

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