New York: The Dial Press, 1976. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's claret coated paper-covered boards, spine stamped in rose gilt, maroon endpapers, top edge stained red, original illustrated dust jacket.
Stated first printing of American novelist, essayist, and playwright James Baldwin's book-length essay on race and American cinema. Seemingly uncategorizable, the text is a marriage of memoir and film study, as Baldwin recounts his personal experiences viewing various films such as In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Exorcist, while intertwining his legendary incisive criticism of the racist ideology that undergirds American society. "The situation of the white heroine must never violate the white self-image. Her situation must always transcend the inexorability of the social setting, so that her innocence may be preserved: Grace Kelly, when she shoots to kill, at the end of High Noon, for example, does not become a murderess. But the situation of the black heroine, to say nothing of the black hero, must always be left at society's mercy: in order to justify white history and in order to indicate the essential validity of the black condition." Author photo by Jerry Bauer. Old price sticker residue to upper pastedown; unclipped dust jacket lightly toned, with approx. 1" closed tear to upper panel and some dampstaining along top edge. Very good. Item #2216