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White BalanceHow Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights$
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Justin Gomer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655802

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655802.001.0001

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The Law Is Crazy!

The Law Is Crazy!

Antistatism and the Emergence of Colorblindness in the Early 1970s

Chapter:
(p.14) 1 The Law Is Crazy!
Source:
White Balance
Author(s):

Justin Gomer

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655802.003.0002

This chapter examines the intersection of colorblindness and antistatism in New Hollywood exploitation films of the early 1970s. Focusing on Dirty Harry (1971) and Coffy (1973), the chapter explores how the success of New Hollywood relied in part on its ability to function as a laboratory for the development of colorblind ideology. Together, these films, similar in genre but marketed to vastly different audiences, reveal the disparate ends colorblind rhetoric served in the first half of the 1970s. Both appealed to emerging colorblind sentiments and helped shape the antistatist ethos of the early decade while reinforcing popular and dehumanizing notions of blackness. That ethos provided the necessary foundation on which colorblindness would gain traction in the ensuing years.

Keywords:   Colorblindness, Black Power, White Backlash, New Hollywood, Blaxploitation, Dirty Harry, Coffy, New Right

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