chapter  5
Evelyn Preer as a Vehicle of Victimization in Micheaux's Films
Pages 17

As Alice Maurice explains, the "black voice" and the underlying assumptions about race on which it rests cast 'blackness' as a site of imperturbable linkages between body, voice, and affect. Maurice offers a deft analysis of the discourse of the 'black voice' as it played out in the production and reception of Hearts in Dixie and Hallelujah, the two African-American-cast musical features released in 1929 by Fox and MGM. The years comprising the transition to sound in the American cinema were especially lean ones for the race film industry. Although race film producers were immediately interested in exploring the possibilities of the new synchronized sound medium like other independent filmmakers, had scant access to it, this new technology being expensive, difficult to operate. As a result, Hollywood would virtually corner the market on 'race movies' between 19291930, drawing the attention of African-American audiences and journalists in their direction.