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James Edwards
'James Edwards: African American Hollywood Icon' by Pamala S. Deane
'James Edwards: African American Hollywood Icon' by Pamala S. Deane

For much of the 1950s and '60s, Sidney Poitier was the standard-bearer for all of black Hollywood, his stardom held aloft as a beacon of integration and progress. In reality, the movie industry remained largely segregated and out of step with the developments of the civil rights era; the Poitier mythology not only obscured this truth, but it also dwarfed the contributions of other African American actors, some of whom paved the way for Poitier's ascent. No one deserves more credit for presaging the stereotype-breaking characters that Poitier perfected than James Edwards, who, in 1949, shot from anonymity to stardom in producer Stanley Kramer's controversial, race-infused...

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