Contemporary Black American Cinema offers a fresh collection of essays on African American film, media, and visual culture in the era of global multiculturalism. Integrating theory, history, and criticism, the contributing authors deftly connect interdisciplinary perspectives from American studies, cinema studies, cultural studies, political science, media studies, and Queer theory. This multidisciplinary methodology expands the discursive and interpretive registers of film analysis. From Paul Robeson’s and Sidney Poitier’s star vehicles to Lee Daniels’s directorial forays, these essays address the career legacies of film stars, examine various iterations of Blaxploitation and animation, question the comedic politics of "fat suit" films, and celebrate the innovation of avant-garde and experimental cinema.

chapter |13 pages


ByMia Mask

chapter |26 pages

Paul Robeson and the End of His “Movie” Career

ByCharles Musser

chapter |16 pages

The Burden of the Beautiful Beast

Visualization and the Black Male Body
ByKeith M. Harris

chapter |31 pages

Reckless Eyeballing

Coonskin, Film Blackness and the Racial Grotesque
ByMichael B. Gillespie

chapter |22 pages

The Measure of Men

Legacies of Sidney Poitier's A Piece of the Action
ByIan Gregory Strachan

chapter |19 pages


In the Mirror of Abjection
ByEd Guerrero

chapter |27 pages

Between Documentary and the Avant-Garde

Exploring the Visual Poetics of Ruins in Christopher Harris's still/here
ByTerri Francis

chapter |20 pages

Who's behind that Fat Suit?

ByMia Mask

chapter |25 pages

Disney's Improvisation

New Orleans' Second Line, Racial Masquerade and the Reproduction of Whiteness in The Princess and the Frog
BySarita Gregory

chapter |17 pages


Lee Daniel's Nonrepresentational Cinema
ByAlessandra Raengo

chapter |15 pages

“I'm a Militant Queen” 1

ByAngelique Harris

chapter |19 pages

Street Girls with No Future?

Black Women Coming of Age in the City
ByPaula J. Massood