Black Cinema: American Myth, Racial Ideology, & Hollywood

What is "Black Cinema"? How did "Black Cinema" originate? What gives "Black Cinema" a distinct voice of its own? Must "Black Cinema" only be directed by African Americans, feature an all Black cast , or only address a Black audience and "Black issues" in order to qualify as "Black Cinema"? Should we differentiate between "Black Cinema" and "Cinema"? What are the ethical, social and political implications central to making these distinctions? This course examines those questions while chronicling the history and present state of "Black Cinema" (from the early 20th century filmmaking of Oscar Micheaux; Blaxploitation films of Gordon Parks and Melvin Van Peebles; fiction films by Charles Burnett, Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Steve McQueen and Dee Rees; documentaries by Marion Riggs, Stanley Nelson and June Cross; as well as animation films made for TV and media streamed online).