National Book Club Conference ‘Book of the Year’ Award Winner From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented, and versatile entertainers working today. This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious—memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades. With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented “force of nature” landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title “Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret.” In the audaciously honest voice that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as the “Mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.” When an undiagnosed menatl illness stymies Jenifer’s career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder and sex addiction. Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”
Hollywood film directors are some of the world's most powerful storytellers, shaping the fantasies and aspirations of people around the globe. Since the 1960s, African Americans have increasingly joined their ranks, bringing fresh insights to movie characterizations, plots, and themes and depicting areas of African American culture that were previously absent from mainstream films. Today, black directors are making films in all popular genres, while inventing new ones to speak directly from and to the black experience. This book offers a first comprehensive look at the work of black directors in Hollywood, from pioneers such as Gordon Parks, Melvin Van Peebles, and Ossie Davis to current talents including Spike Lee, John Singleton, Kasi Lemmons, and Carl Franklin. Discussing 67 individuals and over 135 films, Melvin Donalson thoroughly explores how black directors' storytelling skills and film techniques have widened both the thematic focus and visual style of American cinema. Assessing the meanings and messages in their films, he convincingly demonstrates that black directors are balancing Hollywood's demand for box office success with artistic achievement and responsibility to ethnic, cultural, and gender issues.
In Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle tells–for the first time–the story of a place both mythic and real: Black Hollywood. Spanning sixty years, this deliciously entertaining history uncovers the audacious manner in which many blacks made a place for themselves in an industry that originally had no place for them. Through interviews and the personal recollections of Hollywood luminaries, Bogle pieces together a remarkable history that remains largely obscure to this day. We discover that Black Hollywood was a place distinct from the studio-system-dominated Tinseltown–a world unto itself, with unique rules and social hierarchy. It had its own talent scouts and media, its own watering holes, elegant hotels, and fashionable nightspots, and of course its own glamorous and brilliant personalities. Along with famous actors including Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Hattie McDaniel (whose home was among Hollywood’s most exquisite), and, later, the stunningly beautiful Lena Horne and the fabulously gifted Sammy Davis, Jr., we meet the likes of heartthrob James Edwards, whose promising career was derailed by whispers of an affair with Lana Turner, and the mysterious Madame Sul-Te-Wan, who shared a close lifelong friendship with pioneering director D. W. Griffith. But Bogle also looks at other members of the black community–from the white stars’ black servants, who had their own money and prestige, to gossip columnists, hairstylists, and architects–and at the world that grew up around them along Central Avenue, the Harlem of the West. In the tradition of Hortense Powdermaker’s classic Hollywood: The Dream Factory and Neal Gabler’s An Empire of Their Own, in Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams, Donald Bogle re-creates a vanished world that left an indelible mark on Hollywood–and on all of America.
From what Ive seen, the best parts of life are always permanently cemented by great moments, flashbacks, so to speak. If youve read the entire book, youd know that I have a lot of special moments in my life and theres even more that I couldnt work into the manuscript. With that being said, this book to me is not only a work of art, but its also a testament to me and my readers that I pride myself in squeezing the best out of life no matter what the situation. It gives a clear explanation of the choices and decisions I and my generation battle with on a regular basis, and it shows that Im willing to work as hard as I need to in order to accomplish my goals. Even when the solutions seem outside of the box, Ill do whatevers necessary to improve or maintain my living conditions. Whether it be for work or for playtime, Ive found out that if I dont put 100 percent into what Im doing, Ill never know how great my accomplishments could be. This book is one of the things in my life that Im most proud of. Through this book, I was able to explain how much friends and relationships in general can affect your life. This is what makes trusting God even more important. Ive had several times where Ive felt like I was in the wrong place or with the wrong people or with people that didnt really care as much as theyve led on. But through trusting God and finding some patience, life showed me that I was exactly where he wanted me to be. The love and loyalty my friends and family members have continually showed me is a true testament to that. If I wouldve given up on a few people that I thought about giving up on, I wouldve never known how great a particular relationship or two couldve turned out to be. So with that being said, my proudest accomplishment in this book is the fact that I have valued the people I was supposed to value the most and that they know Ive done everything in my power to shield them from lifes hard times as well. The funny part about me falling out with a few people I loved is that if I never had to feel alone, and these friends and family always protected me, I wouldve never known how strong I really was. Luckily for me, God put a lot of people in my life that were honest, intelligent, and sincere, and the bond that Ive shared with these people alone has made my life worthwhile. But through the trials and tribulations that rested solely on my shoulders, I was able to find my true inner strength. And from what Ive seen, Im a pretty strong individual! Still through all of the good and bad, looking at things from my friends and family members perspective, I was able to see the mistakes that I couldnt recognize; I was able to experiment with new ways to live my life better, and I was able to learn to appreciate the different thoughts and gifts that make us all special human beings. So to everyone that holds me down in Cleveland, Atlanta, and abroad, I sincerely love you and always will even after my death. Never forget that. Ive learned a lot about life in my brief twenty-eight years of existence, and I wish I could share everything Ive learned with everyone whos alive. And vice versa, I also wish everyone else could share their learning experiences with me. I think we all have things to teach each other. When youre able to somehow connect the different struggles and paths of totally different people, you can see that our differences are what let us connect the dots, so to speak. In other words, our differences help us learn more about each other and more about life. As a people, I dont think we embrace our differences too well, and thats something we all need to work on as a whole. Unfortunately, we cant undo our past mistakes, but we can take one day at a time to perfect our way of life. I hope that one day, we all can perfect our lives to a level that makes God happy and, at the same time, helps us live life to the fullest. Because certain Christians try to pressure certain beli
This collection discusses the depictions of mothers-in-law in popular culture and provides a different approach to the popularly-held views of mothers-in-law.
Racial Stigma on the Hollywood Screen from WWII to the Present charts how the dominant white and black binary of American racial discourse influences Hollywood s representation of the Asian. The Orientalist buddy film draws a scenario in which two buddies, one white and one black, transcend an initial hatred for one another by joining forces against a foreign Asian menace. Alongside an analysis of multiple genres of film, Brian Locke argues that this triangulated rendering of race ameliorates the longstanding historical contradiction between U.S. democratic ideals and white America s persistent domination over blacks.
“We just asked the movie stars how they did it. What did they use? How often? Where did they get it? How can we do it, too? And they told us. We couldn’t believe it either.” Kym Douglas, host of the Lifetime makeover show Queen and the image consultant on The View, and celebrity journalist Cindy Pearlman had always wanted to know how the A-list stars looked so, well, A-list. It turns out that even the most carefully guarded stars were more than happy to dish. Collected here, in their own words, celebrities and their beauty gurus reveal their tricks of the trade. How do they reduce puffiness, lose five pounds in a week, put shine in their hair, buff their skin, and vacuum their pores without spending a fortune? Find out from Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lindsay Lohan, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Hurley, Charlize Theron, and many, many more!
Who can forget Dorothy's quest for the great and powerful Oz as she tried to return to her beloved Kansas? She thought she needed a wizard's magic, only to discover that home—and the power to get there—had been with her all along. This engaging and provocative book proposes that Hollywood has created an imaginary cinematic geography filled with people and places we recognize and to which we are irresistibly drawn. Each viewing of a film stirs, in a very real and charismatic way, feelings of home, and the comfort of returning to films like familiar haunts is at the core of our nostalgic desire. Leading us on a journey through American film, Elisabeth Bronfen examines the different ways home is constructed in the development of cinematic narrative. Each chapter includes a close reading of such classic films as Fleming's The Wizard of Oz, Sirk's Imitation of Life, Burton's Batman Returns, Hitchcock's Rebecca, Ford's The Searchers, and Sayles's Lone Star.
The sixties were a tremendously important time of transition for both civil rights activism and the U.S. film industry. Soul Searching examines a subject that, despite its significance to African American film history, has gone largely unexplored until now. By revisiting films produced between the march on Washington in 1963 and the dawn of the “blaxploitation” movie cycle in 1970, Christopher Sieving reveals how race relations influenced black-themed cinema before it was recognized as commercially viable by the major studios. The films that are central to this book—Gone Are the Days (1963), The Cool World (1964), The Confessions of Nat Turner (never produced), Uptight (1968), and The Landlord (1970)—are all ripe for reevaluation and newfound appreciation. Soul Searching is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics and cultural movements of the 1960s, cinematic trends like blaxploitation and the American “indie film” explosion, or black experience and its many facets. Ebook Edition Note: All images have been redacted.
The stars’ secrets to looking and feeling great during and after pregnancy from the authors of The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets Hollywood moms have got it going on—from Halle Berry to Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie to Katie Holmes. Now the authors of The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets and The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets are here to reveal how the stars do it—and how any mom can too. Kym and Cindy once again got the insider beauty secrets from A-List celebrities, asking what they did to look fantastic during pregnancy and after childbirth. The stars talk openly about weight gain, cravings, acne, thinning hair, and feeling sexy. How did they lose the baby fat? What are the best makeup and hair routines? What are the fashion do’s and don’ts? With tips from Hollywood beauties Kate Hudson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Milla Jovovich, Helena Bonham Carter, and many more, The Black Book of Hollywood Pregnancy Secrets is the ultimate guide for moms who want to look and feel fabulous.
The articles in this collection examine the musical in relation to its generic form and conventions, the relationship between narrative and spectacle, gender and feminist analysis and the representation of race and ethnicity.
"A folk journey of Black America...beautiful, haunting, curious, and human." - from the introduction by Bill Cosby. Over 200 photographs. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A struggle between narcissistic and masochistic modes of manhood defined Hollywood masculinity in the period between the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. David Greven's contention is that a profound shift in representation occurred during the early 1990s when Hollywood was transformed by an explosion of films that foregrounded non-normative gendered identity and sexualities. In the years that have followed, popular cinema has either emulated or evaded the representational strategies of this era, especially in terms of gender and sexuality. One major focus of this study is that, in a great deal of the criticism in both the fields of film theory and queer theory, masochism has been positively cast as a form of male sexuality that resists the structures of normative power, while narcissism has been negatively cast as either a regressive sexuality or the bastion of white male privilege. Greven argues that narcissism is a potentially radical mode of male sexuality that can defy normative codes and categories of gender, whereas masochism, far from being radical, has emerged as the default mode of a traditional normative masculinity. This study combines approaches from a variety of disciplines—psychoanalysis, queer theory, American studies, men's studies, and film theory—as it offers fresh readings of several important films of the past twenty years, including Casualties of War, The Silence of the Lambs, Fight Club, The Passion of the Christ, Auto Focus, and Brokeback Mountain.
From the preface by Carmen Kenya Wadley: “Is it good to be black? To Ruby Berkley Goodwin it was....The black she writes about has nothing to do with skin color, but it does have a great deal to do with self images, values, spiritual strength, and most of all love. Unlike the contradicting definitions of blackness we see reflected in today's crime statistics, movies, television, newspapers, political speeches, advertisements, and sociological reports, Ruby Berkley Goodwin's definition of blackness is simple and to the point: black is good. It's Good to be Black is more than the story (history) of a black family living in Du Quoin, Illinois, during the early 1900s; it is a reaffirmation for all of us who know in our hearts that there is still good in the world and that some of that good is black.”
The apron-clad, white, stay-at-home mother. Black bus boycotters in Montgomery, Alabama. Ruth Feldstein explains that these two enduring, yet very different, images of the 1950s did not run parallel merely by ironic coincidence, but were in fact intimately connected. What she calls "gender conservatism" and "racial liberalism" intersected in central, yet overlooked, ways in mid-twentieth-century American liberalism. Motherhood in Black and White analyzes the widespread assumption within liberalism that social problems?ranging from unemployment to racial prejudice?could be traced to bad mothering. This relationship between liberalism and motherhood took shape in the 1930s, expanded in the 1940s and 1950s, and culminated in the 1960s. Even as civil rights moved into the mainstream of an increasingly visible liberal agenda, images of domineering black "matriarchs" and smothering white "moms" proliferated. Feldstein draws on a wide array of cultural and political events that demonstrate how and why mother-blaming furthered a progressive anti-racist agenda. From the New Deal into the Great Society, bad mothers, black or white, were seen as undermining American citizenship and as preventing improved race relations, while good mothers, responsible for raising physically and psychologically fit future citizens, were held up as a precondition to a strong democracy. By showing how ideas about gender roles and race relations intersected in films, welfare policies, and civil rights activism, as well as in the assumptions of classic works of social science, Motherhood in Black and White speaks to questions within women's history, African American history, political history, and cultural history. Ruth Feldstein analyzes representations of black women and white women, as well as the political implications of these representations. She brings together race and gender, culture and policy, vividly illuminating each.
Investigates the literary voices of six Black women entertainers and how they negotiated the tensions between the entertainment industries and the Black community.
This classic of film criticism, long considered invaluable for its eloquent study of a problematic period in film history, is now substantially updated and revised by the author to include chapters beyond the Reagan era and into the twenty-first century. For the new edition, Robin Wood has written a substantial new preface that explores the interesting double context within which the book can be read-that in which it was written and that in which we find ourselves today. Among the other additions to this new edition are a celebration of modern "screwball" comedies like My Best Friend's Wedding, and an analysis of '90s American and Canadian teen movies in the vein of American Pie, Can't Hardly Wait, and Rollercoaster. Also included are a chapter on Hollywood today that looks at David Fincher and Jim Jarmusch (among others) and an illuminating essay on Day of the Dead.