Beneath the surface: An examination of the characterization of African-Americans in submarine-themed American film

Stephen Leal Jackson, Salve Regina University

Abstract

This research and dissertation examines the inclusion, status, and prominence of African-American characters found in the submarine-themed filmography from 1933 to 2008 and determines whether or not these films accurately represent the contribution of African-American men in the United States Navy submarine force by qualitatively comparing the depiction in film to the historical record. The research is based on primary source demographic metrics to perform a qualitative analysis of the submarine-themed filmography. ^ In order to understand and defend the thesis the work first established the philosophical framework within which the argument is based. Then the process of undertaking the documentation of the previously uncompiled historical record of African-American participation in the United State Submarine Service was performed. Once these foundational bases were in place, a broad analysis of the entire submarine-themed filmography and an in-depth analysis of a subset of benchmark films was performed. The conclusions gleaned from this research determined that the submarine-themed filmography ignored, minimized, and misrepresented the role of the African-American submariner in the United States Navy.^

Subject Area

African American studies|Military history|Film studies

Recommended Citation

Jackson, Stephen Leal, "Beneath the surface: An examination of the characterization of African-Americans in submarine-themed American film" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations (Off Campus access). AAI3725267.
http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/dissertations/AAI3725267

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