Mammies no more : the changing image of black women on stage and screen / Lisa M. Anderson.

by Anderson, Lisa M., 1966-Looking glass.

Publisher: Lanham, Md ; Rowman & Littlefield, 1997.Description: 160 pages.ISBN: 0847684199.Subject(s): African American women in motion picturesLooking glass | African Americans in the performing artsLooking glass | Women in the theaterLooking glass
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Long loan London College of Fashion
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Printed books 791.436 AND (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 33778159
Long loan London College of Fashion
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This text explores the history of representations of African-American women in American film and theatre. Using a semiotic critical race theory framework, the author examines three stereotypes of African-American women.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Chapter 1 Introduction: Reflections of Our Lives
  • Part 2 Mama on the Couch?
  • Chapter 3 Yes Ma'am Miss Scarlett
  • Chapter 4 Alternative Nurture
  • Chapter 5 Margins and Myths
  • Part 6 Mulattas, Tragedy, and Mtyh
  • Chapter 7 Mulattas
  • Chapter 8 Miscegenation Blues, or the Other Side of the Tragic Mulatta
  • Chapter 9 What's Tragic about the Tragic Mulatta? Contemporary Mulattas and the Tragic Myth
  • Part 10 The Myth of the Whore
  • Chapter 11 Sex, Sexuality, and Black Women
  • Chapter 12 Not for Us, Thank You
  • Chapter 13 New Concepts of Sexuality
  • Chapter 14 Sexual and Racial Domination
  • Part 15 Representation and Resistance in an Antiblack World
  • Chapter 16 Contemporary Trends, Contemporary Theatre

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Readers have been waiting for years for a book to carry them beyond the prolegomena stage of research on black women in the performing arts. Marilyn Kern-Foxworth has relevant pages in Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus (CH, Apr'95); Mark Reid's Redefining Black Film (CH, Nov'93) includes a "womanist" part; Sharon Willis looks at the issue in part 2 of High Contrast: Race and Gender in Contemporary Hollywood Films (CH, Apr'98); and there are a dozen solid articles. Anderson (Purdue Univ.) carries readers a step closer to a full treatment in that she begins with--but does not follow through with--a theoretical modeling in Roland Barthes, W.E.B. DuBois, and others. And she persistently views performance on both stage and screen as a political act. Thus, actors who play a stereotyped role (as, say, a mammie) with sympathy contribute to an ethos that defines that role as not only normative but also politically preferred. Because this thoughtful book began as a doctoral dissertation with all the limitations that the genre imposes in terms of time and resources, its compass is narrow. Anderson draws on only a handful of movies, only one of them silent and none from the "blaxploitation" era of the 1970s when African American moviemakers strove--with uneven success--for a new level of filmic womanhood. The brief bibliography, lack of endnotes, two-page index, and only 11 stills make this a marginal purchase for academic libraries; not recommended for undergraduates. T. Cripps; Morgan State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Lisa M. Anderson is Assistant Professor of Theater and African-American Studies at Purdue University. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.