Why did images of white, nuclear families dominate television in the 1950s? Why has it taken nearly 70 years for images of a diverse America—featuring people of color, immigrants, women as independent social beings—to appear on prime time television? Challenging the longstanding belief that what appeared on television screens in the 1950s and after resulted from some social consensus, The Broadcast 41 addresses these and other questions by telling two intersecting stories.
Reading a new Wiki entry on Otto Preminger, described as "the classic author and director par excellence, master of precision and finesse, sometimes tyrannical sometimes engaging on his sets, fervent defender of democracy and always in conflict with established conventions," I couldn't help think about Vera Caspary's experiences with him.
The New Yorker just reviewed Paramount+'s new streaming series, Fellow Travelers. I'm so glad to see more media about the blacklist era, especially stories that explore the sordidness of anti-communists like Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn (who were front men for a dense network of gossips and homophobes).
You can read an excerpt from Donald Bogle's new book on Lena Horne in The Hollywood Reporter. And if you haven't already, read his groundbreaking Brown Sugar: Over One Hundred Years of America's Black Female Superstars as well.
Finally--a book about Hannah Weinstein, who hired and supported blacklisted writers like Joan LaCour Scott, Adrian Scott, and Ring Lardner, and introduced the costume drama craze to England that influenced a generation of filmmakers (and comedians, like Monty Python). See this article about Julia Bricklin's just published Red Sapphire.
Choreographer, dancer, teacher, and activist Helen Tamiris recently received a posthumous award from Dance Magazine, honoring "the artistry, integrity, and resilience that dance artists" have exhibited. Born Helen Becker, she took the name Tamiris for the Massagetaen queen Tomyris, who defeated and killed Cyrus the Great and his invading army in 530 BCE.
Great to see the inimitable Hazel Scott getting a shout-out in Teen Vogue! Scott was a jazz pianist, performer, and media royalty of her time. Unlike traditional royalty, she was also a powerful voice for change before being blacklisted.