eleanor oliphant
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Returning the Gaze A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949 by Anna Everett

Returning the Gaze A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949


Returning the Gaze A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949 by Anna Everett

In Returning the Gaze Anna Everett revises American film history by recuperating the extensive and all-but-forgotten participation of black film critics during the early twentieth century. While much of the existing scholarship on blacks and the cinema focuses on image studies and stereotypical representations, this work excavates a wealth of early critical writing on the cinema by black cultural critics, academics, journalists, poets, writers, and film fans.Culling black newspapers, magazines, scholarly and political journals, and monographs, Everett has produced an unparalleled investigation of black critical writing on the early cinema during the era of racial segregation in America. Correcting the notion that black critical interest in the cinema began and ended with the well-documented press campaign against D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation, she discovers that as early as 1909 black newspapers produced celebratory discourses about the cinema as a much-needed corrective to the predominance of theatrical blackface minstrelsy. She shows how, even before the Birth of a Nation controversy, the black press succeeded in drawing attention to both the callous commercial exploitation of lynching footage and the varied work of black film entrepreneurs. The book also reveals a feast of film commentaries that were produced during the roaring twenties and the jazz age by such writers as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as additional pieces that were written throughout the Depression and the pre- and post-war periods. Situating this wide-ranging and ideologically complex material in its myriad social, political, economic, and cultural contexts, Everett aims to resuscitate a historical tradition for contemporary black film literature and criticism. Returning the Gaze will appeal to scholars and students of film, black and ethnic studies, American studies, cultural studies, literature, and journalism.


Compelling and of great critical importance, Returning the Gaze makes a major contribution to film studies. -Dana Polan, University of Southern California Everett's fine book makes an important contribution to our understanding of black cinema, from production to journalism and criticism, as a resistance practice representing every orientation of black culture, from the popular to the political and aesthetic. This one is `must
reading for all interested in black cinema, its issues, and its critical discourse

. -Ed Guerrero, New York University Anna Everett moves African American film criticism and commentary from the margins to the center in this innovative, imaginative, and original book. Superbly researched and engagingly written, Returning the Gaze shows us the necessity of placing race at the center of the history of the American cinema, while at the same time making it clear that any adequate understanding of African American identity needs to acknowledge the centrality of cinema to the practices and processes of U.S. racial formation. -George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness and Time Passages

About the Author

Anna Everett is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2001


Anna Everett

More books by Anna Everett
Author 'Like for Like'


Duke University Press


376 pages


Film theory & criticism



A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

If you LOVE reading then you will love LOVEREADING! It's a 'novel' idea. Seriously though I could not recommend them enough.

Rebecca Whymark

A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins