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Description - Black Oscars: From Mammy to Minny, What the Academy Awards Tell Us about African Americans by Frederick Gooding, Jr.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts an annual award show affectionately and commonly known as "the Oscars." Yet, these awards are more than a mere ceremony; they are a phenomenon. More so than the amorphous, loosely-organized, multi-faceted entities that comprise Hollywood, the Oscars are the pinnacle of fantasy, beauty, romance and high class. They are eagerly anticipated and are heavily discussed. Only the National Football League's annual televised event entitled the Super Bowl eclipses the Oscars in terms of viewing size and revenue stream. But to be the second-most popular television event on the planet is not bad - not bad for an organization that only boasts fifty-one board of governor members. For over ninety years, Oscar winners have been considered the standard bearers of all things imaginable within American culture. Not that Oscar winners are dispositive of all matters within Hollywood and entertainment, however, given their presence and popularity, it begs the question of what do these awards reflect and reinforce about larger society, particularly when it comes to the public participation of African Americans. This book will therefore draw upon American history, African American history, sociology and film studies, thereby broadening its appeal to multiple audiences. Each chapter provides a thorough analysis and overview of any blacks that were nominated for their Hollywood roles during the designated decade. Historical commentary will contextualize the socio-political meaning of the symbology of such images and the black characters as political images onscreen. Black Oscar winners (more of which occur in the latter decades) will be highlighted and cross-referenced with other winners for proper analysis of trends and patterns. Ultimately the Oscars serve as an excellent litmus test as to how what degree our society has truly embraced diversity within the hallowed confines of our sacred imaginations.

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