Micheaux created “race” films which consisted of an all-black cast for black audiences. Micheaux’s films were a reaction, and a necessity, to what was then a segregated Hollywood industry and a segregated society. Micheaux attempted to challenge ideas portrayed in other films including white supremacy.4 Micheaux’s second film Within Our Gates (1920), was his response to D.W Griffith’s Birth Of a Nation (1915).5 Birth Of a Nation promoted Anti-African American ideas with its emphasis on the Ku Klux Klan. In Birth Of a Nation, a false version of the South after the Civil War was portrayed in which blacks were presented as dominating Southern whites (almost all of whom are noble in the film) because of their strong presence in the South during the Reconstruction era.6
Therefore, it is our view the negative stereotypes of African Americans in movies and TV shows has a impact on how they view themselves and can adversely affect their holistic development. The bias towards African Americans, whether it may be conscious or unconscious, is real. Modern day media has a major role to play in this, since what we see can have effects on our lives. For many years now, the media has been lambasted for their representation of African Americans to the general public.
Imagine being discriminated against just because of the skin color you were born with. In addition to promoting more power for the people of color in society these strong people were pushing for equality among everyone. Often times today the Black Power movement is misjudged or looked down upon, but if you look at what they really stood for it was not black superiority
With the introduction of cinema came the introduction of cinema-induced personalities and stereotypes. Often times people think that just because something appears in a movie multiple times that it is the same reality in real life. These thoughts can form many thoughts, whether they are positive or negative connotations. According to Kristine Wright (2004), she said that “the ‘gangsta image’ representing the ‘real’ black urban experience” (p.12). Through the realm of cinema, the introduction of the ‘gangsta image’ has become a prominent stereotype among young African American men and has shaped many people’s opinions through cinematic portrayals and musical acts which has affected the lives of the African American community even to
After World War I racial tension was at an all-time high in America. Out of this movement one of the first thing to emerge as a consequence of the political awakening of Black Americans was an increase of black militancy. Key political figures like Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. DuBois emerged teaching black militancy and liberation. The Back-to-Africa movement of Marcus Garvey was the most popular way to express the increasing resignation concerning multiracial society, although this approach was chosen primarily by the uneducated part of the African American population. The more sophisticated respond was the development of a new racial pride.
After WWI more than one million African-Americans moved from the South to Northern cities beginning in 1915 in what became known as the Great Migration. There were several push and pull factors that contributed to the Great Migration. Blacks sought to escape poverty, Jim Crow, and racism as a new KKK formed. Northern cities attracted a new generation of black men because of enfranchisement, jobs created by industrialization and WWI, and media outlets such as The Crisis.
This topic was chosen out of the interest in the arts and specifically the arts within America. I aim to explore how art evolved and affected the Civil Rights Movement and changed the attitude of racist and unjust people who lived during the 1960s. The evolution of art throughout the 1960s in America introduced new styles of art into the world and had large political relevance in accordance to the Civil Rights Movement and unjust gender discrimination. The American arts industry is one of the most widely recognized and most successful industries to date and much of its success is owed to the Civil Rights Movement that occurred during the 1960s. During this period of time, African Americans were extremely disadvantaged and oppressed.
America is known for its revolution and its civil war. The history of America is mostly painted in positive light, but many choose to ignore the negatives. African Americans prior to the 1950s did not fight back to their oppressor however, that quickly changed. The civil rights movement began in 1954 to confront the racial discrimination of African Americans here in the USA. Before these protests and marches occurred, and even during, African Americans were force to endure countless amounts of abuse and segregation from many public areas.
Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong drew huge audiences as white Americans as well as African Americans caught jazz fever (Kallen 13). The continuing hardships faced by African Americans in the Deep South and the urban North were severe, it took the environment of the new American city to bring in close proximity some of the greatest minds of the day. Harlem brought notice to great works that might otherwise have been lost or never produced. The results were phenomenal; the artists of the Harlem Renaissance undoubtedly transformed African American culture. But the impact on all of American culture was equally strong.
The Great Migration changed the lives of African Americans and had a significant impact on the american culture. The 1920s was a decade partially based on anti-immigrant groups, harsh and cruel racism, and a migration across the country, all of which impacted the United States. The Ku Klux Klan reemerged during the 1920’s and became not only anti-black but also anti-immigrants, anti-Jews, anti-Catholics, and more (Alchin). The group’s rebirth began in 1915, due to the rise of immigration(Alchin).
During the White Hollywood Cinema era, the Black African-American actors played the role of black stereotypes, and they also performed small parts in those films. D.W Griffith produced a racist film that had black stereotypes in it; the name of the film is Birth of a Nation. However, Oscar Micheaux made a film that responded back to D.W Griffith movie, which was Within Our Gates. He paved the way for other black African-Americans, which empowered them to speak out through their own films and movies. There are two men, influenced by Oscar Micheaux and they are Spike Lee and Charles Burnett.
On top of all of that, there was a serious economic divide in the country that caused certain classes to rise and fall. This decade was very trying for the United States, and has affected our society even to this day. The 1960’s was full of civil rights leaders that helped shape America into the country it is today. There will always be racial tensions in society, but without Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow activists, the inequalities that blacks faced in America wouldn’t have been addressed until much later on in life.
Film makers continue to misrepresent African-Americans in movies depicting them as characters, such as the brash women, domestic workers, thugs, and the “magical negro”. The brash African American women is depicted as being rude and having an attitude towards people in her immediate surrounding. The brash women in depicted as being loud mouth and not caring for what other people might think of her. These images are bad since people who do not live in close to the African-American community could stereotype and assume that all African American women act with a brash personality. Surprisingly, many of the films that includes the brash stereotype is found in African American film maker Tyler Perry.
Film, media and Hollywood have shaped over the years how society views as the norm. They have dictated the way certain races or minority groups are portrayed. If it weren’t for people speaking out about injustices there would have never been a change in the film and media industry. Over decades African Americans have been oppressed and misrepresented in film. It has not only been African American’s but also women.
When it comes to African American actors/actresses, their roles now are starting to be more important. In past years and still until today, the black person roles seem to be drug dealers, or in some cases, criminals. Honestly, most of the roles that blacks play almost reflect how most people see the African American community. When it comes to a movie, African Americans tend to get lesser roles compared to their Caucasian counterparts. The acting roles for African American has gotten better, but I still believe that major movie roles tend to go to Caucasians, producers are afraid that ratings might go down with African American cast members.