Anna May Wong was the first Chinese-American movie star, first appearing as an extra in 1919. Her first leading role came in 1922's Toll of the Sea, the first color feature made in Hollywood. She continued appearing in films until 1960, the year prior to her death. [more inside]
It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
Who really controls Hollywood? Now it can be told! (SLFOD)
"You know something very bizarre is going on in Hollywood when the movie Rise of Planet of the Apes tells more about the black experience in America than The Help." Max Gordon reflects on the truths that Hollywood can't talk about openly, and the dangers involved in sugarcoating the past.
Prior to his critically acclaimed program The Wire, creator Edward Burns wrote the HBO miniseries The Corner, which also focused on the drug trade in Baltimore. Charles S. Dutton, an African-American Baltimore native and former convict probably best known to most as TV's "Roc," was chosen to direct the miniseries. Who Gets To Tell a Black Story?, part of a Pulitzer-prize winning NYT series on race in America, examines Dutton's take on how to make a TV program which portrays a mostly African-American cast of characters, the struggles and differing perspectives of Dutton and Burns, and how race is portrayed in Hollywood. [more inside]
Call her Madame. Among the old-timers, the story went like this: a woman known to everyone as Madame came to California from Kentucky with her children and her husband. But once they were in the Gold Rush State, her husband left her. Desperate to find work, she introduced herself to a movie director named D. W. Griffith. He not only cast her in his movie, but the two became friends for life. And with this woman, called Madame Sul-Te-Wan, what we now call Black Hollywood began -- as a new book by historian Donald Bogle explains. (more inside)