Clyde R. Taylor
AALBC Mourns Taylor’s Passing January 24, 2024
Clyde Russell Taylor (July 3, 1931 — January 24, 2024) was a significant figure in African American studies, particularly known for his contributions to the fields of film and cultural criticism. His work often focused on the representation of Black people in American cinema and the broader cultural landscape, challenging mainstream narratives and highlighting the importance of African American voices and perspectives. As an academic, writer, and editor, Taylor’s scholarship and activism provided critical insights into the ways in which media and culture shape societal perceptions of race and identity.
One of Taylor’s notable contributions is his editorship of Vietnam and Black America: An Anthology of Protest and Resistance, which compiled critical essays, speeches, and writings by African American leaders and intellectuals on the Vietnam War. This anthology is important to Black people and the wider audience because it presents a comprehensive overview of Black thought and activism related to the war, showcasing the diverse and complex ways in which African Americans engaged with, protested against, and were affected by the Vietnam War. Through his work, Taylor played a crucial role in preserving and amplifying Black voices and narratives, thereby contributing to a deeper understanding of the intersections between race, culture, and politics in America.
“You have to deal with Clyde if you talk about Black cinema … just as you have to deal with certain people if you talk about African-American literature.” —Manthia Diawara, Professor of Film Studies at New York University (Photo: Taylor Family).