"This astonishingly comprehensive, compact book does nothing less than synthesize nearly the entirety of thought to date on black cinema, blackness in the cinema, and scholarship in this vital area of film studies. . . . Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."
— G. A. Foster, Choice
"Gillespie calibrates a series of agile and fine-grained analyses that draw upon a breadth of disciplines and methods encompassing film historiography, critical geography, debates in black film theory, questions of genre and narratology, performativity, and the business of film distribution. . . . While Film Blackness is specifically pitched to existing conversations in film and media studies, the discursivity of blackness Gillespie articulates has far-ranging implications to black cultural production across media." — Iggy Cortez, ASAP/Journal
“A necessary book. Film Blackness gives us an inspired sense of a much-needed analysis of race in film, an analysis that has so far—true to form—eluded us.” — Courtney R. Baker, Cinema Journal
"Gillespie’s text is well-reasoned and compelling." — Phillip Lamarr Cunningham, Synoptique
" [An] absorbing, intellectually sparky study. . ." — Andrew Dix, European Journal of American Culture
"Film Blackness documents Michael Boyce Gillespie’s long, intense devotion to seeing. To see, to visualize black cinema as it is and as it could be, is an act of prophetic description where theorizing is next to socializing, where the visible and the invisible converge. Gillespie constantly shows and tells us this with rigorous nuance. Happily, this long-awaited book is here and up ahead of us, waiting for the new ways of seeing it anticipates and inspires." — Fred Moten, author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition
"What is black film? Does it involve a black director and a black cast? Is it meant for a black audience? Michael Boyce Gillespie directs us beyond these all-too-familiar questions to an ever expansive and spiraling investigation of the work that cinematic blackness does for visual culture and public life. Beautifully written, meditative, and richly insightful, Film Blackness critically intervenes in the slippages between representational systems, aesthetic and genre conventions, and racial discourse. Building off the work of art historians, visual theorists, and scholars of affective economies, Gillespie brings a remarkable attention to detail and sustained and revelatory readings to open up scenes, dialogues, and figurations of black/ness. Film Blackness is a major contribution to cinema and genre studies, American studies, black cultural studies, and visual culture." — Nicole R. Fleetwood, author of On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination