Series: Articles

The Birth of a Nation: A Century Later

By William Loren Katz By an odd coincidence the first week of Black History Month this February, Time magazine ran an article on the 100th anniversary of the first public showing of the movie classic The Birth of a Nation. This silent film was Hollywood’s first blockbuster, first great historical epic, first full-length film, and first to introduce modern cinematic techniques that still keep audiences enthralled. Time noted the movie’s problem. From its casting and content to its dramatic conclusion it was unabashedly racist.
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