By Allison schoen
What styles emerge in media assurance and personality depiction of Southern women and men, blacks and whites, within the years among 1954 and 1976? How do portrayals of the quarter and the equivalent rights stream remove darkness from the spirit and adventure of the South—and of the kingdom as a complete? In Framing the South, Allison Graham examines the ways that the media, really tv and movie, offered Southerners in the course of the interval of the civil rights revolution.
Graham analyzes depictions of southern race and social category in quite a lot of Hollywood films—including A Streetcar Named Desire, The 3 Faces of Eve, and A Face within the Crowd from the Fifties; later movies like Cool Hand Luke, In the warmth of the Night, and Mississippi Burning; and MGM's Elvis Presley cars. She lines how movies have confronted—or avoided—issues of racism through the years, paralleling Hollywood depictions with the tamer characterization of the likeable "hillbilly" popularized in television's The actual McCoys and The Andy Griffith Show. Graham reinforces the political impression of those fictional representations through studying media insurance of civil rights demonstrations, together with the documentary Crisis: in the back of the Presidential Commitment, which stated the conflict among Robert Kennedy and Governor George Wallace over the combination of the collage of Alabama. She concludes with a provocative research of Forrest Gump, deciding upon the preferred movie as a retelling of post-World warfare II Southern historical past.
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Additional info for Framing the South: Hollywood, Television, and Race during the Civil Rights Struggle
The ravaging of southern womanhood appeared imminent. Soon, the South would be shrouded in black—“Black,” Judge Tom Brady wrote, “denoting darkness and terror. Black signifying the absence of light and wisdom. ” According to segregationists, integrationist propaganda was not the province of federal employees alone. The rest of the nation was also conspiring to push the message of racial mingling. The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, for example, claimed in its newsletters throughout the 1950s and 1960s that a “Paper Curtain” existed in America ( g.
What is left after the revolution is a nakedly exposed death’s head, the mad ghost of Tara past ( g. 8). Leaving behind only “spilt talcum and old empty perfume bottles,” Blanche exits the drama on the arm of her nal gentleman caller, a psychiatrist, and deeds over to Stanley and Stella a world in which “the cries and noises of the jungle” are drowning out the soft melodies of plantation propriety. Appearing at the beginning of the modern civil rights era, A Streetcar Named Desire repositioned the South as a national theater space, an arena within which the social ctions undergirding the impending battle would be dramatized and exposed.
But the southern belle act is so antiquated, so clichéd, that even she wearies of it. “I don’t know how much longer I can turn the trick,” she tells Stella. In truth it is not simply Blanche’s age which undermines the role, nor the comical creakiness of her performance, but rather its fundamental deadliness. Life on the Belle Reve estate had been a nightmare of “sickness and dying,” a “long parade to the graveyard” which Blanche alone had witnessed. “You didn’t dream” death could be so gruesome, she tells Stella, “but I saw!