The 84th annual Academy Awards will take place this Sunday and among this year’s contenders is The Help, which has been nominated for four awards, including nods for Viola Davis (Best Actress) and Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress). This film takes place in 1960s Mississippi and chronicles the intersecting lives of white women and their African-American maids against the backdrop of major social upheaval nationwide. Of course, before it was an Oscar-nominated film, The Help was a best-selling book, as reviewed by Stone Center Librarian Shauna Collier in a previous SCL blog post, and available here at the Library.
Interested in learning more about African Americans and the film industry? Here, in no particular order, are ten titles to get you started:
- African Americans and the Oscar : decades of struggle and achievement
- Bright boulevards, bold dreams : the story of Black Hollywood
- We gotta have it : twenty years of seeing Black at the movies, 1986-2006
- Historical dictionary of African American cinema
- Screens fade to black : contemporary African American cinema
- Black magic : White Hollywood and African American culture
- Blackface : reflections on African-Americans and the movies
- Toms, coons, mulattoes, mammies, and bucks : an interpretive history of Blacks in American films
- Reel racism : confronting Hollywood’s construction of Afro-American culture
- Mammies no more : the changing image of Black women on stage and screen
The books listed above are but a sampling of related items available here at the Stone Center Library. Come by and check us out!