The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War

The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War

Dick Lehr


In 1915, men—one a journalist agitator, the opposite a technically magnificent filmmaker—incited a public war of words that roiled the USA, pitting black opposed to white, Hollywood opposed to Boston, and loose speech opposed to civil rights.

Monroe Trotter and D. W. Griffith have been struggling with over a movie that dramatized the Civil struggle and Reconstruction in a post-Confederate South. nearly fifty years prior, Monroe’s father, James, was once a sergeant in an all-black Union regiment that marched into Charleston, South Carolina, simply because the Kentucky cavalry—including Roaring Jack Griffith, D. W.’s father—fled for his or her lives. Griffith’s movie, The start of a Nation, integrated actors in blackface, heroic images of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and an outline of Lincoln’s assassination. Freed slaves have been portrayed as villainous, vengeful, slovenly, and hazardous to the sanctity of yankee values. It used to be enormously profitable, finally obvious by means of 25 million americans. yet violent protests
against the movie flared up around the country.

Monroe Trotter’s giant campaign to have the movie censored grew to become a blueprint for dissent throughout the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties. this is often the fiery tale of a innovative second for mass media and the nascent civil rights circulation, and the lads clashing over the cultural and political soul of a still-young the USA status on the cusp of its maximum days.

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