Blackface, White Noise by Michæl Rogin
Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot

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Synopsis

The tangled connections that have bound Jews to African Americans in popular culture and liberal politics are at the heart of Michael Rogin's arresting and unnerving book. Looking at films from Birth of a Nation to Forrest Gump, Rogin explores blackface in Hollywood films as an aperture to broader issues: the nature of "white" identity in America, the role of race in transforming immigrants into "Americans," the common experiences of Jews and African Americans that made Jews key supporters in the fight for racial equality, and the social importance of popular culture. Rogin's forcefully argued study challenges us to confront the harsh truths behind the popularity of racial masquerade.
 

About Michæl Rogin

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Michael Rogin is Robson Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Ronald Reagan the Movie: And Other Episodes in Political Demonology (California, 1985).
 
Published May 29, 1998 by University of California Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Rogin's (Ronald Reagan, The Movie, 1987, etc.) answer is that blackface was a way for new Americans--particularly Jewish immigrants--to join the mainstream: ``Blackface flourished in the transitional period when immigrants and their children were leaving behind Old World identities and trying on ...

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As part of the interest in stereotypical depictions of African Americans after Reconstruction, there have been a number of books on the powerful tradition of blackface minstrelsy. But it didn't just i

Jun 03 1996 | Read Full Review of Blackface, White Noise: Jewis...

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In a story with some similarities to that told in Noel Ignatiev's How the Irish became White, Rogin says blackface also served to ""Americanize"" or whiten immigrant Jewish blackface performers during a time of heavy domestic anti-Semitism.

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https://muse.jhu.edu

Michael Rogin has produced an important book focusing on the relationship between Jewish movie makers and blackface imagery from 1927 to 1950 Professor Rogin, now a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, has written several major books and articles on politics and race in ...

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