Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Donald Bogle

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Name  Donald Bogle
Role  Author
Movies  Small Steps, Big Strides

Donald Bogle wwwhurstonwrightorgwpcontentuploads201503D
Books  Toms - coons - mulattoes, Bright Boulevards - Bold Dre, Primetime Blues, Brown Sugar: Eighty Ye, Brown Sugar: Over One
Similar People  Vivian Dandridge, Dorothy Dandridge, Ruby Dandridge, Gregory Hines

Donald bogle elizabeth and michael q a

Donald Bogle is a film historian and author of six books concerning African Americans in film and on television. He is an instructor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and at the University of Pennsylvania.


Early years

Bogle grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and graduated from Lincoln University in 1966. As a child, he spent a lot of time watching television and going to the movies. He wondered why there were very few African-American characters. He also wondered what happened to the Black characters when they went off-screen. In a 2005 interview, Bogle recalled:

In the movie Gone with the Wind, how did Hattie McDaniel live—in the big house or the slaves' quarters? What did she think about the civil war? These were all questions I wanted answers to.


Bogle's first book, Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks: An Interpretative History of Blacks in Films, was published in 1973. In it, he identified five basic stereotypical film roles available to African-American actors and actresses: the servile, avuncular "tom"; the simple-minded and cowardly "coon"; the tragic, and usually female, mulatto; the fat, dark-skinned "mammy"; and the irrational, hypersexual male "buck". In the second edition of the book, Bogle identified a sixth stereotype: the sidekick, who is usually asexual. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks was awarded the 1973 Theatre Library Association Award.

Brown Sugar: Eighty Years of America's Black Female Superstars was published in 1980. It was the basis of a four-hour PBS documentary that aired in 1986. Bogle published his third book, Blacks in American Film and Television: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, in 1988.

Bogle's next book, a biography of actress Dorothy Dandridge (1922–1965), caused a sensation before its 1997 publication. It sparked renewed interest in Dandridge's life, and several Black performers raced to make a film about her. Whitney Houston acquired the rights to produce a movie based on Bogle's biography, but Halle Berry brought Introducing Dorothy Dandridge to fruition.

Bogle published Primetime Blues: African Americans on Network Television in 2001. In it, he argued that television lags behind film in reflecting the social realities of African Americans. His next book, Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood, was published in 2005. It tells the story of African-American actors and actresses in the film industry during the first half of the 20th century. In 2011, he published Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters, which examines the personal and professional life of singer and stage performer, Ethel Waters.


Donald Bogle Wikipedia

Similar Topics
Dorothy Dandridge
Gregory Hines
Ruby Dandridge