• Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms

    Author(s):
    Pages: 408
    Illustrations: 22 b&w photographs
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $109.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4692-0
  • Paperback: $28.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4701-9
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction: Unspeakable Ethics 1

    I. The Structure of Antagonisms

    1. The Ruse of Analogy 35

    2. The Narcissistic Slave 54

    II. Antwone Fisher and Bush Mama

    3. Fishing for Antwone 95

    4. Cinematic Unrest: Bush Mama and the Black Liberation Army 117

    III. Skins

    5. Absurd Mobility 149

    6. The Ethics of Sovereignty 162

    7. Excess Slack 189

    8. The Pleasures of Parity 200

    9. "Savage" Negrophobia 221

    IV. Monster's Ball

    10. A Crisis in the Commons 247

    11. Half-White Healing 285

    12. Make Me Feel Good 317

    Epilogue 237

    Notes 343

    References 365

    Index 375
  • Red, White and Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms is a provocative and challenging book. Wilderson exposes the darker side of cinematic narrative and the unspoken messages sent through film which reinforce the identities and cultures on all three groups mentioned, despite these identities and cultures being imposed rather than inherent. . . . A truly unique analyses of cinema, race, politics, power, society and identity.”

    “[An] exceptional and provocative book. . . . [T]he volume is clearly written, persuasively argued and – reflecting a particular strength of the book – immensely detailed.”

    “The work exceeds the typical trajectory of film writing, and Wilderson
    writes with a conviction that can incite further thought, discussion, and even action. In a panel on literary activism at the National Black Writers Conference in 2010, Wilderson clarified his intentions: ‘The relationship of literature to struggle is not one of causality, but one of accompaniment.’ As such, Red, White and Black is valuable reading for any filmmaker or theorist
    interested in socially engaged cinema.”

    “Wilderson’s style of writing is persuasive while his passionate , uncompromising commitment to every word, passage, idea, in his book is undeniable.”

    Reviews

  • Red, White and Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms is a provocative and challenging book. Wilderson exposes the darker side of cinematic narrative and the unspoken messages sent through film which reinforce the identities and cultures on all three groups mentioned, despite these identities and cultures being imposed rather than inherent. . . . A truly unique analyses of cinema, race, politics, power, society and identity.”

    “[An] exceptional and provocative book. . . . [T]he volume is clearly written, persuasively argued and – reflecting a particular strength of the book – immensely detailed.”

    “The work exceeds the typical trajectory of film writing, and Wilderson
    writes with a conviction that can incite further thought, discussion, and even action. In a panel on literary activism at the National Black Writers Conference in 2010, Wilderson clarified his intentions: ‘The relationship of literature to struggle is not one of causality, but one of accompaniment.’ As such, Red, White and Black is valuable reading for any filmmaker or theorist
    interested in socially engaged cinema.”

    “Wilderson’s style of writing is persuasive while his passionate , uncompromising commitment to every word, passage, idea, in his book is undeniable.”

  • Red, White & Black challenges scholars of film, race, ethnicity, American studies, and cultural studies to rethink many of the assumptions that animate our work. Pairing analyses of film representations of U.S. racial antagonisms animated by images of Blacks with those that work through images of Indians provides a new and exciting critical framework. Red, White & Black provokes scholars to reckon with the political implications of Frank B. Wilderson’s call to think structures of Blackness, Whiteness, and Redness in the United States both in conjunction with and in contradistinction to each other.” — Kara Keeling, author of, The Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense

    Red, White & Black is unique, incisive, and thought-provoking. The analytic frameworks that Frank B. Wilderson III develops surpass the conventional paradigms for exploring theory, race, power, and film in U.S. culture.” — Joy James, editor of, Warfare in the American Homeland: Policing and Prison in a Penal Democracy

    “I have not read anything as striking as Red, White & Black in some time. In this unsettling work, Frank B. Wilderson III theorizes the singularity of anti-Blackness as he refines our understanding of how political economy, popular culture, and law are shot through with identification and desire, pleasure and pain, sexuality and aggression. Anti-Blackness, which is carefully distinguished here from White supremacy, is not only an ideology and an institutional practice; it is also a structure of feeling with pervasive effects. This last, crucial point is glossed over by too many authors in their haste to provide rational analyses of and challenges to racism.” — Jared Sexton, author of, Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    Red, White & Black is a provocative critique of socially engaged films and related critical discourse. Offering an unflinching account of race and representation, Frank B. Wilderson III asks whether such films accurately represent the structure of U.S. racial antagonisms. That structure, he argues, is based on three essential subject positions: that of the White (the “settler,” “master,” and “human”), the Red (the “savage” and “half-human”), and the Black (the “slave” and “non-human”). Wilderson contends that for Blacks, slavery is ontological, an inseparable element of their being. From the beginning of the European slave trade until now, Blacks have had symbolic value as fungible flesh, as the non-human (or anti-human) against which Whites have defined themselves as human. Just as slavery is the existential basis of the Black subject position, genocide is essential to the ontology of the Indian. Both positions are foundational to the existence of (White) humanity.

    Wilderson provides detailed readings of two films by Black directors, Antwone Fisher (Denzel Washington) and Bush Mama (Haile Gerima); one by an Indian director, Skins (Chris Eyre); and one by a White director, Monster’s Ball (Marc Foster). These films present Red and Black people beleaguered by problems such as homelessness and the repercussions of incarceration. They portray social turmoil in terms of conflict, as problems that can be solved (at least theoretically, if not in the given narratives). Wilderson maintains that at the narrative level, they fail to recognize that the turmoil is based not in conflict, but in fundamentally irreconcilable racial antagonisms. Yet, as he explains, those antagonisms are unintentionally disclosed in the films’ non-narrative strategies, in decisions regarding matters such as lighting, camera angles, and sound.

    About The Author(s)

    Frank B. Wilderson III is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Drama at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the American Book Award. He is also the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu