Black Crimefighters: Portraits in Blue
Chapter 4's focus is on African American crimefighters from Sidney Poitier’s iconic Mr. Tibbs in The Heat of the Night to the hip hop stars of the “hood” films of the 1990s such as New Jack City, along with Denzel Washington’s more than dozen crimefighter roles. Given Hollywood’s history of black representations dominated by criminality—a prime target the white rogue exists to police—it remains difficult for a black crimefighter to replicate the archetype’s performance of nation. Also explored are the mega-hit cop films by Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop and its sequels, although the comic premise undermines any serious challenge to the white crimefighter’s dominion. Other films include Gang in Blue, The Glass Shield, Deep Cover, and several films featuring Wesley Snipes.