Black-Audience Westerns and the Politics of Cultural Identification in the 1930s
Abstract

Abstract:

This essay argues that the black-audience musical westerns of the late 1930s attempted to reconfigure African American national identity in their casting but also by strategically using anachronism and geographical juxtaposition. These westerns created a dual present by using the trope of contemporary Harlem alongside the nineteenth-century setting, thereby ironically echoing the western expansionist movement in a cinematic African American West.