Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, & Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films

ISBN: 0826415180
ISBN 13: 9780826415189
By: Donald Bogle

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About this book

This classic study of black images in American motion pictures, this year enjoys its thirtieth anniversary of continuous publication through four editions, and is now available in a special hardcover gift edition, having sold over 200,000 copies in paperback. It includes the entire 20th century through black images in film, from the silent era to the unequaled rise of the new African American cinema and stars of today. From Gone with the Wind and Carmen Jones to Shaft, Do the Right Thing, and Bamboozled, Donald Bogle reveals the way the image of blacks in American cinema has changed--and also the shocking way in which it has often remained the same.

Reader's Thoughts


Must have for anyone who is in entertainment.Donald Bogle is a film historian who gives you an inside look at the stereotypes of African Americans in film from Birth of a Nation until the present.This is a MUST have!!!I am always referring and quoting this book!

Braden Scott

Excellent and thorough documentation of american cinéma, however, i would have enjoyed a cross-textual analysis with theoretical and political writings from the times of the filmic releases. The book would have been too big for this, i fear. For an historical text read, it is superbe.


An excellent book on African American Film. Highly recommended for anyone who needs to teach on the topic and has a greater than general interest in the topic.


A solid interesting introduction to the use of stereotypes in American film. I was lucky enough to meet Bogle and listen to him lecture to a small class of students (my prof was a friend). He was a delight to listen to. I would recommend this book heartily. As an aside, I got to meet Butterly McQueen (who played Prisy in GWTW) not long after. I have to confess that the reason I read the book in the first place was because I took a class on using black film as a teaching tool.

samuel johnson

Bogle loves movies. I mean this guy breaks them down. He puts up a good argument. I may have to agree that hollywood will not cast a Black person in a big budget film outside of these established roles.

Erica Freeman

Donald Bogle taught a class I took on African-Americans in film and television in grad school...wasn't crazy about him, personally, but he did some valuable work especially where the late Dorothy Dandridge is concerned.


The atrocities and stereotypes that still exist today in Hollywood in relation to African-American actors and actresses. The struggle still continues and is veiled by blockbuster dreams.


A really good historical outline of different common roles for black characters in film, as well as some information on the lives of many black stars. Very thorough and straightforward, and interesting as well. Bogle also does a good job of showing how some of the stereotypical roles have continued in different ways over the years, and ways that each category of role has been adapted to fit sentiments during given decades. Definitely recommended if you're interested in learning more about black film history, as it is very comprehensive.

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