An authoritative and valuable resource for students and scholars of film animation and African-American history, film buffs, and casual readers. It is the first and only book to detail the history of black images in animated cartoons. Using advertisements, quotes from producers, newspaper reviews, and other sources, Sampson traces stereotypical black images through their transition from the first newspaper comic strips in the late 1890s, to their inclusion in the first silent theatrical cartoons, through the peak of their popularity in 1930s musical cartoons, to their gradual decline in the 1960s. He provides detailed storylines with dialogue, revealing the extensive use of negative caricatures of African Americans. Sampson devotes chapters to cartoon series starring black characters; cartoons burlesquing life on the old slave plantation with "happy" slaves Uncle Tom and Topsy; depictions of the African safari that include the white hunter, his devoted servant, and bloodthirsty black cannibals; and cartoons featuring the music and the widely popular entertainment style of famous 1930s black stars including Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and Fats Waller. That's Enough Folks includes many rare, previously unpublished illustrations and original animation stills and an appendix listing cartoon titles with black characters along with brief descriptions of gags in these cartoons.
Doctor Sampson is an African-American scientist who got a PhD in nuclear engineering and who, at the time he wrote this book, was Senior Project Engineer at the Aerospace corp. Predictably, the book exudes intelligence and open-mindedness, and discusses brilliantly the innumerable problems of ethnic comedy, which in the Golden Age of Hollywood Animation was commonplace – but racist.