Arthur Knight (William and Mary) has made a career of studying African-American film, from biographies of its stars to the viewing patterns of its audiences. In the new Obama era, he questions whether the term “African-American cinema” is relevant anymore. Also: Drawing on the stories of one-hit-wonders, lottery winners and ponzi-schemers, Sam Riley (Virginia Tech) has written a book about America’s temporary celebrities: people who experience “fifteen seconds” of fame in the media.

Image: 1954 Portrait of Harry Belafonte by Carl Van Vechten.  Courtesy: Library of Congress

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