Review: ‘Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood’

Historian Donald Bogle, author of books including "Dorothy Dandridge" and "Primetime Blues," offers a thoroughly researched account of the lives and careers of black actors, dancers, singers and musicians in Hollywood through the first half of the 20th century.

Historian Donald Bogle, author of books including “Dorothy Dandridge” and “Primetime Blues,” offers a thoroughly researched account of the lives and careers of black actors, dancers, singers and musicians in Hollywood through the first half of the 20th century.

Filled with amusing and telling details — Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s ice cream diet, a makeup color called Negro No. 2, Stepin Fetchit causing a commotion when he turned up with Mae West in a Rolls Royce to visit a Central Avenue club — Bogle covers Black Hollywood both on and off the screen.

Plenty of photos help Bogle bring this overlooked segment of Hollywood history alive.

Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood

Ballantine Books, 411 pgs., $26.95

Production

Donald Bogle
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