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Watch Now: Melvin Van Peebles' 1998 Doc "Classified X"- A History of African American Stereotypes in Cinema

by Vanessa Martinez
January 4, 2012 7:03 PM
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Melvin Van Peebles' 1998 documentary, Classified X, explores racist stereotypes of African Americans in the history of cinema, beginning with the silent film era.

Van Peebles narrates throughout; you are highly recommended to see it if haven't done so by now. The documentary, directed by Mark Daniels, is quite compelling and provides a poignant and relatively thorough insight on the historical portrayal of African Americans on screen in both non-black and black films.

It's now streaming on Netflix; feel free to watch it there. However, I was able to find it in full on YouTube, although divided in six parts; which I've embedded below.


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  • George | January 5, 2012 2:59 AMReply

    It sad that even now when Hollywood is investing heavily in franchises that clearly have issues with quality and that there ideas. They can not see how embracing diversity now would better for their business model now. Instead waiting for the current business model to fall through.

  • Neziah | January 4, 2012 8:51 PMReply

    Yeah, it's really good, but some of the choices were questionable.

  • Neziah | January 5, 2012 7:49 PM

    Specifically regarding the ones such as "The Defiant Ones" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", it seemed like he just said one simple statement and moved on. That made me confused as to why he chose to feature those films in the first place. Perhaps I missed something, but I really didn't understand those parts.

  • Cyril | January 5, 2012 6:20 PM

    Neziah, What exsctly did you want him to elaborate on, regarding the Sidney Poitier films?

  • Neziah | January 4, 2012 9:51 PM

    For example, he didn't elaborate enough when it came to the Sidney Poitier films.

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