“Only the colored people themselves can determine their political, social and economic future.”

William Monroe Trotter

Prof. EA Kiss

This course surveys a hidden canon of African American film while also uncovers the roots of representational injustice in Hollywood and the secret, but cardinal role Woodrow Wilson played in the production and distribution of Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation” that led to the rebirth of the KKK. Wilson’s policy of segregation was adapted by Hollywood as a self-censoring industry regulation of representation. Black people could only appear on screen as subservient and marginal characters, never as equals, partners or leaders. This industry code, Wilson’s legacy, has become second nature to Hollywood.


Propaganda and State Sanctioned Violence

Film essay and montage on state violence; re-cutting exercise, satirical subversion of The Birth of a Nation, Lizzie Borden museum vitrine

“The Theory of Political Propaganda” in: American Political Science Review

Harold Lasswell


“Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures”

Erwin Panofsky


Heart of the World

D. W. Griffith


Broken Blossoms

D. W. Griffith


Born in Flames

Lizzie Borden



Raoul Peck