Race on the Set (and off)

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Bright BoulevardsBright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood
by Donald Bogle
Ballantine Books / One World. 411 pages, $26.

 

THE FIRST TIME I read an acknowledgment of gay black Hollywood was in Paula L. Woods’s Stormy Weather, the second in a series of mystery novels featuring the African-American LAPD detective Charlotte Justice, whose gay uncle was a part of that scene. However, historians and film scholars, both black and white, have usually acted as if black gay men and lesbians did not exist anywhere in Hollywood, even though black gay characters have appeared in numerous film and TV productions. Reams have been written about Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, Montgomery Clift, and directors James Whale and George Cukor. But what of their black counterparts?

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