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Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas$
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Henry Goldschmidt and Elizabeth McAlister

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195149180

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195149181.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020

Projecting Blackness

Projecting Blackness

African-American Religion in the Hollywood Imagination

(p.305) 12 Projecting Blackness
Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas

Judith Weisenfeld

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses approaches to the co-construction of religion and race in Hollywood films focusing on the case of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s 1929 film Hallelujah. Directed by King Vidor, the film extended popular culture and literary traditions of naturalizing and sanctioning American racial hierarchies through the presentation of an aesthetic of primitive black religion. The chapter examines the production history and reception of the film with attention to discourses about race, religion, and representation, as well as about the relationship between African-American religious practices and civil rights more broadly.

Keywords:   religion, race, representation, Hollywood film, popular culture, African American religion, blackness, King Vidor, Hallelujah

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