Front cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Introduction: “The national mental attitude”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

In 1926 W. E. B. Du Bois was addressing an audience in Chicago when he rhetorically asked of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), “how is it that an organization of this kind can turn aside to talk about Art?” ...

read more

1. The Birth of a Cultural Strategy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-34

This book begins, perhaps inevitably given the nature and scale of the struggle, with the NAACP’s fight against The Birth of a Nation. The campaign against D. W. Griffith’s film remains the best-known and most widely discussed of all the examples of the NAACP’s attempts to challenge offensive depictions of the race in popular culture. ...

read more

2. Representing the New Negro

Crisis

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-62

In 1925, James Weldon Johnson, literary critic, author, mentor, songwriter, poet, and first black executive secretary of the NAACP, published the Book of American Negro Spirituals with his brother, Rosamond. This collection showed some of the many sides to this (Harlem) Renaissance man. ...

read more

3. Du Bois's Crisis and the Black Image on the Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 63-96

The front cover of the April 1911 issue of the Crisis shows a hand-colored photograph of a young African American woman in profile (figure 1). She is dressed smartly and demurely, wearing a high-necked and long-sleeved blouse, trimmed with lace. She is looking down at a hand-drawn copy of the Crisis. ...

read more

4. "A union of art and propaganda"

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 97-126

The NAACP believed that it could use the arts to change white perceptions of African Americans, and for much of the first three decades of the twentieth century it also used this principle to challenge attitudes toward lynching. The NAACP’s strategy for ending mob violence was based on its conviction that the responsibility for lynching lay with the American public. ...

read more

5. White in Hollywood

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-158

Walter White had a somewhat utilitarian attitude toward the arts and popular culture: he tended to see them in terms of how they could assist the African American struggle for equality. He promoted the artists of the Harlem Renaissance because he admired their talent but also because they were shining examples of black culture and achievement. ...

read more

6. Blacks, Reds, White

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-190

The decade or so after the end of the Second World War was a time of flux in race relations in the United States. On the one hand, there was a lingering liberalism from the New Deal and the war; there was a growing international context to understanding race; and the federal government, at least to begin with, displayed some willingness to engage with racial issues. ...

read more

Conclusion: “The true picture of America”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 191-204

The NAACP’s protest against Amos ’n’ Andy seemed to bring the association back to where it had started, vigorously protesting what it saw as the demeaning portrayal of African Americans in “mainstream” white American culture. There were similarities between its campaign against The Birth of a Nation in 1915 and Amos ’n’ Andy in 1951. ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 205-206

This book would not have been possible without funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). I was also lucky enough to be one of the first recipients of an AHRC–Library of Congress grant, which allowed me to spend three happy months as a fellow at the Kluge Center; many thanks to the staff at the center and to my fellow scholars for making my stay both productive and enjoyable. ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-226

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 227-240

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 241-258

Other Works in the Series

pdf iconDownload PDF