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Summer, 2013 | African And African American Studies
Pioneering African American film director Oscar Micheaux once said that "truth was the predominant characteristic" of his motion pictures. This class will introduce students to the history of African American directors who have worked in Hollywood and independently of it, from the 1920s to the present, and consider how they used their films to communicate their cinematic truths about race in America. We will begin with Micheaux and study directors such as Gordon Parks, Julie Dash, and Spike Lee. Films to be considered include Within Our Gates, Boyz in the Hood, and Love & Basketball, among others. Students will learn the essential components of film language and how African American directors have used feature filmmaking to resist racist depictions of African Americans onscreen and to impact a larger cultural narrative about race relations in the United States.