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Wil Haygood's historical account of Black films captures national attention

National accolades are beginning to flow in for Miami alumnus Wil Haygood for his latest book "Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World" — most recently featured in the New York Times.

Wil Haygood headshot and cover of book Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World
Wil Haygood and the cover of his new book "Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World" (image courtesy of American Program Bureau).
Oxford and Beyond Excellence and Expertise

Wil Haygood's historical account of Black films captures national attention

#Wil Haygood and the cover of his new book "Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World" (image courtesy of American Program Bureau).()

National accolades are beginning to flow in for Miami alumnus Wil Haygood for his latest book Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World, (Random House, October 2021) — most recently featured in the New York Times.

Critics applaud the story-telling, journalistic writing style Haygood is known for as he takes the reader on a 100-year historical journey. The reader goes behind the scenes of Black artists in the film industry. Haygood details the social issues they face, as well as racial issues depicted on the screen. The book provides a unique perspective on racism in the United States.

Haygood, Miami’s Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film, said, “The book highlights the long struggle of Blacks to rise in the film industry. These are stories of hard struggle, many dreams, and sometimes triumph.”

Dwight Garner wrote in his New York Times book review, “Some prolific nonfiction writers slowly grow bleary; you sense them, in their later books, going through the motions, rounding off corners. Haygood, on the other hand, has become a master craftsman, one whose joinery is seamless.” 

Hollywood film producer to receive Miami's Freedom Summer of '64 Award

Colorization ties in seamlessly with this fall’s Freedom Summer of ‘64 Award ceremony, which will honor Hollywood film producer Reginald Hudlin for his contributions to bringing the Black image to screen. Haygood and Hudlin will conduct a question-and-answer session during the Nov. 7 event to be held at 7 p.m. in Hall Auditorium.

Haygood said of Hudlin’s work, “Hollywood is a better place because of his monumental contributions when it comes to equality and representation.”

The ceremony will be followed by a week-long Freedom Film Festival, sponsored by the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film and the office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Haygood’s book shares insights on some of the stars and the movies that will be featured during the festival — “A Patch of Blue,” “Carmen Jones,” “Imitation of Life,” “Shaft,” and “The Butler,” which was based on Haygood’s award-winning Washington Post article, which later became a best-selling book.

Reviews applaud Haygood's work

Haygood's new book is making the rounds in the national book review circle. 

Scott Neymyer interviewing Haygood for a radio spot on Shondaland said, “This feels like a cinema book and a history book and a civil rights book. And it’s beautiful in all those ways.”

Among the reviews and media placements are: