Dear Colleagues/Dear Students,


Please join the Film and Media Studies program for the first event of our fall speaker series:


Professor Samantha Sheppard, Performing and Media Studies, Cornell University

“The Revolt of the Cinematic Black Athlete”

September 13 / 4:15 / Landis Cinema


To understand the revolt of the cinematic Black athlete, it is critical to set the scene for and unpack the staging of one of the most popular and pivotal spectacles of Black resistance in sports history: US sprinters and medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Smith and Carlos’ protest provides a historical grounding and critical entryway into how Haile Gerima’s 1971 experimental film Hour Glass (made at UCLA during the “L.A. Rebellion”) pictorializes a revolt of the Black athlete. Drawing on Trinh T. Minh-ha’s notion of “bold omissions and minute depictions,” I argue that Gerima culls the history of Smith and Carlos’ protest, (re)locating the revolutionary imagery and sounds of 1968 into Hour Glass.


Prof. Sheppard received her bachelor’s degree in Film & Television Studies and Women and Gender Studies from Dartmouth College and her master’s degree and doctorate in Cinema and Media Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from UCLA’s Department of Gender Studies.  

Prof. Sheppard is the co-editor of From Madea to Media Mogul: Theorizing Tyler Perry (University Press of Mississippi, 2016). Her published and forthcoming essays appear in several journals and anthologies, including: Cinema Journal​, Film Quarterly, Journal of Sports History, Journal of Sport and Social IssuesL.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, TV Memories: Love Letters to Our Television Past, Race and the Revolutionary Impulse in The Spook Who Sat by the Door, and Black Camera. Prof. Sheppard writes extensively on Black cultural production and production cultures. She is currently working on a manuscript titled Sporting Blackness: Race, Embodiment, and Critical Muscle Memory on Screen. 


The event is free and open to the public. Please contact Katherine Groo ( with any questions.


Katherine Groo
Assistant Professor 
Film and Media Studies 
Lafayette College 
248 N. 3rd St, 107 
Easton, PA 18042