Black hands and white hearts: Italian immigrants as ‘urban racial types’ in early American film culture

  title={Black hands and white hearts: Italian immigrants as ‘urban racial types’ in early American film culture},
  author={G. Bertellini},
  journal={Urban History},
  pages={375 - 399}
Through the concept of ‘character’ or ‘urban racial type’, traversing literature, science and metropolitan life, Bertellini reconsiders early American cinema's colour-based biracialism epitomized by D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915). In the New York-based film industry race also emerged from the city's dense intermingling of ‘white ethnics’ and broader shifts in epistemological emphasis – from inheritance to the environment. If Italian immigrants were racialized as innately violent… Expand
6 Citations
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  • The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
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Digitized texts open new methodologies for explorations of the history of ideas. This paper locates the invention of the term “Little Italy” in New York in the 1880s and explores its rapid spreadExpand
Current bibliography of urban history
This bibliography is a continuation of and a complement to those published in the Urban History Yearbook 1974–91 and Urban History 1992–2002. The arrangement and format closely follows that ofExpand


Some examples include Pickford's Poor Little Peppina (1916) and The Love Light (1921), and Gish's religious The White Sister
  • 1923
The Ordeal of Rosetta (1918) and Who Will Marry Me?
  • Consider A Woman's Honor
  • 1917
Divo/duce: masculinity, racial identity, and politics among Italian-Americans in 1920s New York City
  • Journal of Urban History