Begin with the facts. The founding Hollywood movie, The Birth of a Nation, celebrates the Ku Klux Klan. The first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, was a blackface film. The all-time top film box office success is Gone with the Wind. Blackface minstrelsy was the first and, before movies, the most popular form of mass culture in the United States. Burnt cork and the frontier myth together produced a self-conscious, distinctive, American national culture, the culture that gave birth to Hollywood. Blackface minstrelsy and the myth of the West declared nationalist independence from the Old World. Whereas the political Declaration of Independence made an anticolonial revolution in the name of the equality of all men, the declaration of cultural independence emerged not to free oppressed folk but to constitute national identity out of their subjugation. White supremacy, white over black and red, was the content of this national culture; its form was black and red over white, blacking up and Indianization: “The wilderness … strips off the garments of civilization and arrays [the colonist] in the hunting shirt and moccasin,” wrote Frederick Jackson Turner. “The outcome is … a new product that is American.” 1