Michael Schultz : the times and films of Holywood's lone Black director
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The following thesis explores the career of director Michael Schultz (Cooley High, Car Wash, The Last Dragon, et al); the lone African American to consistently find work as a director in Hollywood during the years separating the fall of the blaxploitation era in 1976 and the arrival of Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, and a host of young black filmmakers in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. In large part centered on an extensive interview I conducted with Schultz in October of 2006, I hope to accomplish a unique blend of oral history and academic analysis; allowing Schultz to tell his own story without denying my own sense of perspective and analysis. Schultz’s vantage point and recollections will be counter-balanced by my own analytical and historical framework. My goal is to use Schultz’s career to illuminate a problematic era in Hollywood (and American society as a whole), in which African American images were virtually erased from the cinematic landscape. Schultz’s career illustrates various trends in the film industry as well as African American arts.