The Black Kino Fist: Black life as depicted in film history

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

"Released in the summer of 1967, shortly after race riots in Newark, NJ, and Detroit, In the Heat of the Night galvanized racial tensions in the United States as few films had done previously. Not only did the film score at the box office with an African-American actor in the leading role, but also it was one of the first to depict an African-American character who refused to back down in the face of racism. When local business leader Endicott slapped Virgil Tibbs, only for Tibbs to hit him back, progressive audiences around the nation cheered.
The role of Virgil Tibbs helped to crystalize Sidney Poitier's image as a proud, capable black man standing up to racism and outsmarting white society. Released in the same year as his To Sir, with Love and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner it made him the focal point in discussions of Hollywood's treatment of race. In some quarters, he was praised for his integrity in insisting on roles that defied the old stereotypes; in others he was derided for creating a new stereotype, the super-black man."
-Frank Miller for TCM
Status: Available for purchase
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