Mammy Dearest: the Depiction of African-American House Servants in The Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind, and Song of the South

Diller III, Francis J., Department of English, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, Department of English, University of Virginia

An examination of the way coded African-American plantation figures in Hollywood cinema offer insight into the themes of the film and its relationship to larger cultural concerns. Emphasis is placed on: D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation in terms of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War, David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind as a modernist reflection of the Great Depression, the aftermath of World War I, and the prospective threat of World War II, and Song of the South in light of the 1942 NAACP push to stop black stereotypes from appearing in mainstream American films.

MA (Master of Arts)

Originally published on the XRoads site for the UVA American Studies program. Years range from 1995-2005. Content is captured at the level of functionality available on the date of capture.

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