Sunday, January 11, 2015

The 27 best overlooked books of 2014

Slate Book Review critics tagged 27 great books you never heard about—but should’ve, including:
Phillip Maciak recommends Envisioning Freedom: Cinema and the Building of Modern Black Life, by Cara Caddoo:

According to Cara Caddoo’s lively, readable, richly detailed new history of African-American film cultures at the turn of the 20th century, the cinema was a central motor force for the formation of racial identity and community in the era of Jim Crow. Envisioning Freedom, which packs a tremendous amount of fascinating incident into a relatively short page count, introduces us to black church leaders in the Midwest who invested heavily in film technology as a tool for their ministries, embattled black theater owners in the segregated South, and the pioneers of African-American independent cinema at home and abroad. And Caddoo’s account of the mass protest movement that arose against D.W. Griffith’s racist epic The Birth of a Nation provides a moving case study in the age of Ferguson and the New Jim Crow.
Learn about the other books on the list.

Interview: Cara Caddoo.

The Page 99 Test: Envisioning Freedom.

--Marshal Zeringue