Skip to main content

The Birth of a Nation Footage We Do Not Want to Find

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
In the Shadow of The Birth of a Nation
  • 154 Accesses

Abstract

The Birth of a Nation (1915) met controversy beginning the year of its release, facing protests in multiple cities, many organized by the newly formed NAACP. Protests against the film often entailed community pressure on city governments to require cuts before the film could be screened. Because so many cuts were made to the original print, the versions of this film, now in archives worldwide, are varied in length and content. The following details the efforts of scholars over several decades to document the changes made to the film which leads to the evidence of the extant musical score composed by Joseph Carl Breil. In the end, however, the question as to the exhibition of the most controversial and disturbing images remains. But remembering the protest against this film is the occasion to recall African American journalist Ida B. Wells and her antilynching campaign and to update her struggle with reference to the work of the contemporary Equal Justice Initiative.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jane M. Gaines .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Gaines, J.M. (2023). The Birth of a Nation Footage We Do Not Want to Find. In: Stokes, M., McEwan, P. (eds) In the Shadow of The Birth of a Nation. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-04737-4_6

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics