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Brown Sugar: Eighty Years of American Black Female Superstars Hardcover – December 13, 1984

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing; 1 edition (December 13, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517536374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517536377
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Donald Bogle is the author of the groundbreaking Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films, a classic study of Black movie images; as well as the acclaimed biography Dorothy Dandridge; the bestselling Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood; and Primetime Blues: African Americans on Network Television. Mr. Bogle's newly updated Brown Sugar: Over 100 Years of America's Black Female Superstars has been adapted for a highly successful four-part documentary series for PBS. He teaches at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book during the mid-80's, in hardback. I still have the original edition. It remains one of my keepsakes along with my family photo album! Every black woman should have this book. Whenever you think you are having a hard time, this book shows each lady's up and down. The Black woman tries to distinguish herself and positively represent other Black Americans under the evil Hollywood eye of racism in the entertainment industry from the 1920's to present.
This book really enlightened me about early performers such as Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, Moms Mabley, Bessie Smith and many others. Thank you so much Donald Bogle for tackling a tough and inspiring subject with excellent journalism and research.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have had this book since I saw the PBS special several years ago. This is an outstanding book filled with wonderful beautiful pictures. Many of the stories are sad, because many black entertainers did not get their just "due" for all of the contributions they made. By reading this book, you can see what music and entertainment was, and what it really needs to be again! Great Book!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MeMyselfandI on July 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Brown Sugar is the best title he has given to any of his books, the other titles for his books are bigoted and racist. The title is deceiving, he doesn't applaud Black females achievements much.

Here's a long but informative review.
Naturally since Bogle is the only one writing about early Black film stars people believe everything he says. He plays it safe by always talking about the same ole' stars that he talked about in his last books. Never does he introduce the public to unsung talents we never heard of. He spends most of the time talking about how mulatto, how light or how dark such and such is and how such and such couldn't do this or that because of this or that. When whites write on their stars they don't write about how blonde, how brunette or how red head someone was and how Irish or Italian one looked. Which proves how stuck on skin color Blacks really are! Why do Blacks feel they always have to spend time talking about race instead of giving these stars their recognition and due, forgetting how they look and telling of their life and versatile careers, who they really were, where they come from, making one reading feel like they knew the person all their lives, make one feel the happiness and sadness.
Bogle spends more time on what they didn't do then what they did do. Which is sad, the public is missing out on a lot. So again, do for yourself the research and don't' depend on others all the time.

Bogle loves talking about how white Fredi Washington looked instead of writing about her extensive, incredible career, she done more in her life then most of us could dream about it, she didn't let others prejudices hold her back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Homer M. Scarborough, Jr. on May 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this book. I originally found out about it when I saw the PBS series some years ago. When I learned that this was the source, I immediately ordered a copy. This is my second copy, and I bought it as a gift. The only disappointment is that PBS has never offered the video of the series for sale, nor have I ever seen it offered again on television, not even during one of their money raisers. A shame as it is fascinating and wonderful entertainment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By buster brown on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a great compilation of African American female entertainers that are not all widely known. It is imperative that we remember these talented women.
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