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The Final Victim of the BlacklistJohn Howard Lawson, Dean of the Hollywood Ten$
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Gerald Horne

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243729

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243729.001.0001

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(p.222) 13 “Blacklisted”
The Final Victim of the Blacklist

Gerald Horne

University of California Press

John Howard Lawson's freedom had a price. He and virtually all of Red Hollywood were now “blacklisted,” barred from the industry they had helped to construct. Lawson entered the netherworld of the “blacklist,” where credit could not be taken and responsibility had to be shared. Lawson may have been barred officially from filmdom, but he remained a vocal and active presence in cinema, not least in commenting on Hollywood trends. The “blacklisting” process was designed to thwart the best efforts of those most determined to subvert this banning method and crafted to drive those affected to the depths of despondency. After being barred from screenwriting, Lawson not only turned to history and film criticism but returned to playwriting, although his experience here was frustrating. Lawson's dalliance with Negro theater was consistent with his Party's notion that African Americans constituted a formidable foe against the status quo.

Keywords:   John Howard Lawson, Red Hollywood, blacklist, filmdom, cinema, blacklisting, screenwriting, Negro theater

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