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The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Films
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About the Author

Salvador Jimenez Murguia is associate professor of sociology at Akita International University. He is the editor of The Encyclopedia of Japanese Horror Films (2016) and the coeditor of The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Films (2018), both published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Reviews

Salvador Jimenez Murguia's project covers the breadth of material it promises and features work by several top scholars. The encyclopedia illustrates the complexity of a pervasive problem in American film. * Film International *
In exploring how historically underrepresented people are often misrepresented, editor Murguia has created a vital resource (and pop culture companion). Drawing attention to the imbalance of power within the entertainment industry, Murguia and a series of contributors provide insight into Hollywood's record of institutional racism. Included films, which are listed alphabetically, contain either explicit racism (The Birth of a Nation; Big Trouble in Little China) or implicit racism (Aladdin; Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) or critically discuss how racism operates in society (American History X; Guess Who; Get Out). Information such as running time, director, and author of the screenplay is helpfully listed alongside each entry, which also features a summary and analysis. There is a thoughtful critique of Disney's early works, including Fantasia and Dumbo, but of note is an appendix of common tropes such as the White Savior (Dances with Wolves; The Blind Side) and the Magical Negro (The Green Mile; the Matrix franchises), as well as critical commentary of race within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A solid reference for academic collections that touch upon film criticism, pop culture studies, and cultural history. * Library Journal *
This lengthy encyclopedia comprises 251 entries (by Murguia and 103 others), an introduction, and two appendixes-one giving explanations of major themes from the entries (e.g., blackface, white savior tropes, and so on) and the other providing biographical profiles of prominent individuals discussed in the entries. Each entry focuses on a particular film, examining it in relation to, as Murguia writes in the introduction, the concepts of "explicit racism," "implicit racism," and "productions that delineate how racism operates in society." Entries typically span two to three pages, and the commentary is thorough and thoughtful. The films discussed are a well-chosen assortment; some are problematic in their handling of race, and others keenly critique racist culture or realistically depict the lived experience of people of color. Each entry ends with a very brief bibliography. This book will be useful for anyone interested in film and/or cultural studies.Recommended. * CHOICE *

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