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    The Colored Cartoon: Black Representation in American Animated Short Films (Hardback) By (author) Christopher P. Lehman


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    DescriptionThis book traces the evolution of racial caricatures in American cartoons during the first half of the twentieth century. From the introduction of animated film in the early 1900s to the 1950s, ethnic humor was a staple of American-made cartoons. Yet as Christopher Lehman shows in this revealing study, the depiction of African Americans in particular became so inextricably linked to the cartoon medium as to influence its evolution through those five decades. He argues that what is in many ways most distinctive about American animation reflects white animators' visual interpretations of African American cultural expression. 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. By the 1950s, protests from civil rights activists and the growing popularity of white cartoon characters led animators away from much of the black representation on which they had built the medium. Even so, animated films today continue to portray African American characters and culture, and not necessarily in a favorable light. 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.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Colored Cartoon

    The Colored Cartoon
    Black Representation in American Animated Short Films
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Christopher P. Lehman
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 160
    Width: 157 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 363 g
    ISBN 13: 9781558496132
    ISBN 10: 1558496130

    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KBB
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T1.6
    BIC E4L: PER
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JFSL3
    B&T General Subject: 221
    B&T Approval Code: C07590000
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 42
    BISAC V2.8: PER004030
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BIC subject category V2: APFV
    BISAC V2.8: PER004010, PER017000
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 791.43652996073, 791.43/652996073
    B&T Approval Code: C07282060
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: SOC001000
    LC classification: NC1766.U5 L442 2007
    Thema V1.0: JBSL, NHTB, ATFV
    University of Massachusetts Press
    Imprint name
    University of Massachusetts Press
    Publication date
    28 February 2008
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    CHRISTOPHER P. LEHMAN is assistant professor of ethnic studies at Saint Cloud State University and author of American Animated Cartoons of the Vietnam Era.