Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television by Bob McCann
[Digital E-Book Edition]
The first work of its kind, this encyclopedia provides 360 brief biographies of African American film and television actresses from the silent era to 2009. It includes entries on well-known and nearly forgotten actresses, running the gamut from Academy Award and NAACP Image Award winners to B-film and blaxploitation era stars. Each entry has a complete filmography of the actress's film, TV, music video or short film credits. The work also features more than 170 photographs, some of them rare images from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Focusing on “positive achievement,” this volume honors the work of 360 influential film and television actresses and reflects the author’s sincere interest in and appreciation of these women, who contributed to their professions and to society in general. In determining the actresses to be covered, author McCann first chose pioneers before 1940, some of whom have already sunk into near oblivion, such as Fredi Washington. Award-winning actresses, B-movie actresses who sometimes have been undervalued, and a selective group of promising newcomers fill the pages. The term African American was rather loosely applied since foreign-born women who worked largely in the U.S. (e.g., Akosua Busia) and U.S.-born women whose reputations depended on foreign careers (e.g., Josephine Baker) are included. Entries are alphabetical, ranging in length from one-third of a page to three pages. Content includes early life, career, main contributions, personal life, and a list of film and television credits. McCann sometimes spices up the entries with interesting details about films or personal situations. About half of the entries include a black-and-white photo; a few actresses garner two or three shots. A disappointingly short bibliography follows the entries, and a long index concludes the volume. Errors (for example, the omission of Hattie McDaniel’s death date at her entry’s start) are minimal. This work provides perspective on both African Americans and entertainment and should serve as a useful reference in academic and public libraries. Also available as an e-book. --Lesley Farmer
Encyclopedia of African American Black Actresses in Film and Television [eBook]
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