EVERY STEP A STRUGGLE: Interviews with Seven Who Shaped the African-American Image in Movies

Frank Manchel
New Academia Publishing, 2007
508 Pages, 81 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9787713-3-1 Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9787713-6-2 Hardcover
Price: $28.00 Paperback
$42.00 Hardcover

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About the Author

Frank Manchel is Professor Emeritus of English and Film Studies at the University of Vermont and the author of many books and articles on film history, including the monumental 4-volume work Film Study: An Analytical Bibliography. He was Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences between 1977 and 1989. He has also held numerous national offices in his profession, including serving as a member of the George Foster Peabody Board for seven years, during which time he presided as chairperson from 1987 to 1989. Among the many honors he has received, Dr. Manchel was recognized by UVM as a University Scholar in the Social Sciences and the Humanities and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by Burlington College. In 2006, Film and History recognized him as one of the pioneers in film history.

About the book

This book pays tribute to the sacrifices and achievements of seven individuals who made difficult and controversial choices to insure that black Americans shared in the evolution of the nation’s cultural heritage. Transcriptions and analyses of never-before-published uncensored conversations with Lorenzo Tucker, Lillian Gish, King Vidor, Clarence Muse, Woody Strode, Charles Gordone, and Frederick Douglass O’Neal reveal many of the reasons and rationalizations behind a racist screen imagery in the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. This primary source, replete with pictures, documentation, and extensive annotations, recounts through the words of important participants what happened to many film pioneers when a new generation of African-Americans rebelled against the nation’s stereotyped film imagery.


“A unique historical resource, this book is a fitting tribute to these artists, reminding us of their courage, integrity, and perseverance to succeed against great odds. The thorough, meticulous annotations make it an indispensable addition to collections in film studies and African American studies.”
-Denise Youngblood, Professor of History,University of Vermont

“The author has taken a unique approach and may have even created a new genre of writing: the interview embellished with scholarly commentary. It is a fascinating experiment. This book belongs in every research library and in all public libraries from mid-size to large cities. It fills in lacunae between existing studies.”
-Peter C. Rollins, Editor-in-Chief of Film & History