The Colored Cartoon: Black Representation in American Animated Short Films, 1907-1954

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University of Massachusetts Press, 2007 - Performing Arts - 137 pages
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"The first American animators drew on popular black representations, many of which were caricatures rooted in the culture of southern slavery. During the 1920s, the advent of the sound-synchronized cartoon inspired animators to blend antebellum-era black stereotypes with the modern black cultural expressions of jazz musicians and Hollywood actors. When the film industry set out to desexualize movies through the imposition of the Hays Code in the early 1930s, it regulated the portrayal of African Americans largely by segregating black characters from others, especially white females. At the same time, animators found new ways to exploit the popularity of African American culture by creating animal characters like Bugs Bunny who exhibited characteristics associated with African Americans without being identifiably black." "Drawing on a wide range of sources, including interviews with former animators, archived scripts for cartoons, and the films themselves, Lehman illustrates the intimate and unmistakable connection between African Americans and animation."--BOOK JACKET.

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About the author (2007)

Christopher P. Lehman is associate professor of ethnic studies at Saint Cloud State University.

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