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African Americans in Film

White Christmas (1954)

Directed by Michael Curtiz. Cast: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye,Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Dean Jagger. Lyrics and music byIrving Berlin. Two song-and-dance men team up in show businessafter the war. Joining forces with a sister act, they trek toVermont for a white Christmas. The real adventure starts whenCrosby and Kaye discover that the inn is run by their old armygeneral who's now in financial trouble.

White Dog (1988)

Directed by Samuel Fuller. Cast: Kristy McNichol, PaulWinfield, Burl Ives, Jameson Parker, Christa Fuller, SamFuller, Lynne Moody, Marshall Thompson. A German shepherd isadopted by an actress who learns that the dog has been trainedto attack only African Americans. Now it's up to an animaltrainer to try to change the vicious dog.

Whoopee! (1930)

Directed by Thornton Freeland. Cast: Eddie Cantor, EthelShutta, Paul Gregory, Eleanor Hunt, John Rutherford, SpencerCharters. A musical sparked by Cantor's performance as ahyper-hypochondriac. Out West, Henry Williams (Cantor) helps Sallyflee her wedding, unaware that she has left a note behind sayingthey've eloped. Features some of Busby Berkeley's most fancifulchoreography. "As it facilitates intermarriage in The Jazz Singer,so blackface brings Whoopee!'s Indian and white lovers together.Henry, helping Sally escape her wedding to Sheriff Bob, hides in anoven.

Wild Style (1982)

Directed by Charlie Ahearn. Cast: Lee George Quinones, PattiAstor, Andrew (Zephyr) Witten; Grandmaster Flash, Chief Rocker BusyBee, Fab 5 Freddy, Cold Crush Four, Double Trouble, Rock SteadyCrew. Tells the story of street artists in the South Bronx who puton a big outdoor performance to showcase their unique talents,graffiti, rap, and break dancing. The story centers on Zoro, whospends his time spray-painting subway cars who gets his break whenhe is hired to decorate the platform for the upcoming rap concert.90 min.

Within our Gates (Library ofCongress/Smithsonian Video Collection) (1919)

Directed by Oscar Micheaux. Cast: Evelyn Preer,Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin, Jack Chenault,William Smith, Charles D. Lucas. The earliestsurviving feature directed by anAfrican-American, Within our Gates tells thestory of a young African-American woman whoseeks a Northern white patron for a Southernschool for Black children. The scenes oflynching and attempted white-on-Black rape maybe a response to D.W. Griffith's "The Birth ofa Nation". 79 min. ;

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1943)

Directed by Michael Curtiz. Cast: James Cagney, Joan Leslie,Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, Jeanne Cagney, Frances Langford,George Tobias, Irene Manning. Lyrics and music, George M.Cohan. A rousing musical depicting the life of George M. Cohan,famed playwright, entertainer and composer of patriotic songs.Features a musical number "At a Georgia Camp Meeting", dancedin blackface by Henry Blair, Walter Huston, Rosemary DeCamp andJo Ann Marlowe. 127 min. ;

Zebrahead (1992)

Writer/director, Anthony Drazan. Cast: Michael Rapaport,N'Bushe Wright, Paul Butler, DeShonn Castle, Candy Ann Brown,Luke Reilly, Dan Ziskie, Kevin Corrigan, Martin Priest, RonJohnson, Ray Sharkey. A young Jewish white man begins datingthe cousin of his best friend, both of whom are black, ignitinglong simmering racial tensions at their high school. 102 min.
Reviews and articles: Ansen, David. "Zebrahead." Newsweek v120,n17 (Oct 26, 1992):66 (2 pages). Sragow, Michael. "Zebrahead." New Yorkerv68, n37 (Nov 2, 1992):101 (2 pages).