By Mia Mask

This insightful learn locations African American women's stardom in ancient and commercial contexts through analyzing the celebrity personae of 5 African American ladies: Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Halle Berry. reading each one woman's big name as predicated on a model of charismatic authority, Mia masks indicates how those girl stars have finally advanced the traditional discursive practices wherein 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 motion pictures. She considers Dandridge's prestige as a sexual commodity in movies similar to Tamango, revealing the contradictory discourses relating to race and sexuality in segregation-era American tradition. Grier's feminist-camp performances in sexploitation photos Women in Cages and The great Doll House and her next blaxploitation autos Coffy and Foxy Brown spotlight an analogous stress among representing African American ladies as either objectified stereotypes and strong, self-defining icons. masks reads Goldberg's reworking behavior in Sister Act and The Associate as consultant of her unruly comedic exercises, whereas Winfrey's day-by-day tv functionality as self-made, self-help guru echoes Horatio Alger narratives of luck. ultimately, masks analyzes Berry's meteoric good fortune by means of acknowledging the ways that Dandridge's profession made Berry's possible.

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Extra info for Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film

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20 In seeking out these entertainers, black women sought the cultural images they longed to see. By citing these viewpoints, I want to call attention to black audience responses as part of the social equation of black stardom. , a racist script, flawed direction, the editing, or point-ofview). This was particularly the case in Dandridge’s day. To a greater degree, we ought to include black audience responses in analyses of black stardom. Otherwise, we risk producing discursive readings of African American culture void of African American experiences.

Monroe shared with Dandridge the vexed position of being a female sex symbol in a religiously conservative, racially segregated, patriarchal visual economy and society. As a consequence, both encountered difficulties when attempting to obtain serious dramatic roles and be taken seriously by Hollywood executives as artists. Dandridge and Monroe were dandridge’s erotic charisma · 21 positioned similarly in terms of their iconographic significance. Sadly, both women died young, under mysterious circumstances, leaving the question of possible suicide looming but ultimately unanswerable.

Twenty years ago, to expect to see such advertisements in a colored magazine would have been unthinkable. In the field of the American commercial, EBONY has been as much pioneer as was brownskin Matt Henson when he became the first man to set foot on the North Pole. That EBONY can now afford not only to have color covers, but feature articles in color inside the magazine is due to its determined and dogged assault on the white battlements of Madison Avenue advertising. ” But they did. Result: now even the New York Times, Life, and The New Yorker picture Negro models in ads—not of the once popular “ham what am” variety either.

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