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31-10-2020 | ARTICLES | Issue 4/2020

Journal of African American Studies 4/2020

Killing “Dixie”: The NAACP, the Black Press, and the Crusade to End Black Caricature Culture in Hollywood, 1950–1969

Journal:
Journal of African American Studies > Issue 4/2020
Author:
Teisha Dupree-Wilson
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Abstract

In the early decades of the twentieth century, Hollywood created its depictions of African Americans. Many of the images, which first appeared in Hollywood films and then on television, were derived from “Dixie,” a term used to reference the antebellum American South, during a time when African Americans were enslaved. This article examines the account, given by the African American Press, of the ongoing dispute over black imagery between Hollywood and the NAACP. The heightened voice of the African American Press ultimately helped to push for the infusing of black presence in popular culture with the goal of depicting the possibilities of an integrated American society. The NAACP and the African American Press emerged as the leading voices in challenging Hollywood’s black caricature culture, after recognizing that harmful black representation was injurious to the burgeoning civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century.

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