How did the American South contribute to the development of cinema? And how did film shape the modern South? In Fade In, Crossroads: A History of the Southern Cinema (2017, Oxford University Press), Robert Jackson tells the story of the relationships between southerners and motion pictures from the silent era through the golden age of Hollywood. Jackson talks with Walter Edgar about the profound consequences of the coincidence of the rise and fall of the American film industry with the rise and fall of the Jim Crow era.
Jackson also traces the influence of Southerners on the development of the studio system, the persistence of racial stereotypes, and the influence of film on future participants in the Civil Rights Movement, from prominent leaders such as Martin Luther King and Thurgood Marshall to film-industry veterans like Lena Horne and Paul Robeson to the millions of ordinary people, black and white, who found themselves caught up in the struggle for racial equality in the modern United States.
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