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2021 - 2022 Modern Volume 18

Destination Freedom: Resilience and memory in Radio

By Bethan Davis  Remembrance of America’s ‘Golden Age of Radio’ often leaves out African-American contributions. The 1920s gave way to some opportunities in broadcasting for black musicians and actors, but historian Erik Barnouw firmly argued they had a ‘dwindling role’ in radio. The recurrent and popular programs like ‘The Jack and Benny Show’ were incredibly …

2021 - 2022 Modern Volume 18

Marsha P. Johnson: A Trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ Black Community

By Anya Goulthorpe “As long as my people don’t have their rights across America, there’s no reason for celebration”.  This quote was eloquently spoken by LGBTQ+ activist and social trailblazer, Marsha P. Johnson. She would later be attributed to propelling the gay liberation movement, something which many modern historians fail to recognise due to the …

2021 - 2022 Modern Volume 18

“Instead of getting life histories or love interests, black characters get magical powers”: How the Magical N*gro Trope Perpetuates Racist Stereotypes

By Kate Flood. In the early days of Hollywood, black characters were most often played by white actors in blackface, an evolution of the racist theatrical practice of minstrelsy. Much has changed since then, but although blackface is now widely criticised and seen as generally unacceptable, this unfortunately does not mean that modern film is …