In Black Hollywood Unchained, Ishmael Reed gathers an impressive group of scholars, critics, intellectuals, and artist to examine and respond to the contemporary portrayals of Blacks in films. Using the 2012 release of the film Django Unchained as the focal point of much of the discussion, these essays and reviews provide a critical perspective on the challenges facing filmmakers and actors when confronted with issues on race and the historical portrayal of African American characters. Reed also addresses the black community's perceptiveness as discerning and responsible consumers of film, theatre, art, and music. Contributors to this collection are: Jill Nelson, Amiri Baraka, Cecil Brown, Halifu Osumare, Houston A. Baker Jr., Tony Medina, Herb Boyd, Jerry W. Ward Jr., Ruth Elizabeth Burks, Art Burton, Justin Desmangles, J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, Jack Foley, Joyce A. Joyce, C. Leigh McInnis, Heather Russell, Hariette Surovell, Kathryn Takara, and Al Young.
Ishmael Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned L.A. Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer and finalist for two National Book Awards and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley; and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing. The American Book Awards, sponsored by the foundation has been called The American League to the National Book Awards’ National League. He also founded PEN Oakland which issues the Josephine Miles Literary Awards. PEN Oakland has been called “The Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times. Ishmael Reed is the author of over twenty titles including the acclaimed novel Mumbo Jumbo, as well as essays, plays and poetry. Titles include: The Freelance Pallbearers; The Terrible Threes; The Last Days Of Louisiana Red; Yellow Back Radio Broke Down; Reckless Eyeballing; Flight To Canada; Japanese By Spring.