By Mia Mask
This insightful learn locations African American women's stardom in ancient and business contexts by means of analyzing the superstar personae of 5 African American ladies: Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Halle Berry. examining each one woman's superstar as predicated on a model of charismatic authority, Mia masks exhibits how those girl stars have finally advanced the traditional discursive practices by which blackness and womanhood were represented in advertisement cinema, self sustaining movie, and community television.
Mask examines the functionality of those stars in seminal but underanalyzed movies. She considers Dandridge's prestige as a sexual commodity in movies equivalent to Tamango, revealing the contradictory discourses relating to race and sexuality in segregation-era American tradition. Grier's feminist-camp performances in sexploitation images Women in Cages and The great Doll House and her next blaxploitation automobiles Coffy and Foxy Brown spotlight an identical pressure among representing African American ladies as either objectified stereotypes and strong, self-defining icons. masks reads Goldberg's remodeling behavior in Sister Act and The Associate as consultant of her unruly comedic workouts, whereas Winfrey's day-by-day tv functionality as self-made, self-help guru echoes Horatio Alger narratives of good fortune. ultimately, masks analyzes Berry's meteoric good fortune via acknowledging the ways that Dandridge's occupation made Berry's possible.
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Additional resources for Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film
In the late 1940s she made numerous television appearances, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that she was cast in leading roles, which legitimated her screen career. 14 An actress and a celebrity personality, Dandridge was as culturally important as any of her contemporaries—white, black, Asian, or Native American. She, like Hayworth or Monroe, defined a distinct brand of sexuality at a moment when sex was increasingly entering the domain of popular culture. Several parallels may be drawn between Monroe’s and Dandridge’s personal and professional lives.
Dandridge’s erotic charisma · 33 Dorothy Dandridge was both an entertainment charismatic and a representative character. She earned these distinctions because she represented the image of black beauty and womanhood African American audiences idealized. In this respect, she was more successful than Eartha Kitt at earning audience admiration and identification. Kitt was a charismatic entertainer but not a representative idol. , one misunderstood by segments of the black public). As a consequence, she was perceived as iconoclastic, controversial, and self-absorbed.
The screenplay Carmen Jones, written by Harry Kliner, produced and directed by Otto Preminger, with incredibly stereotyped music by Oscar Hammerstein II, is transplanted to a parachute factory in the American South during 1943. . 17 She aptly calls attention to the gulf between Hollywood’s fictional representation of black life and the social reality of political activism in which black Americans were involved in the 1950s. But such readings omit black audience response to black films, leaving spectators out of the analysis.