Gangsta Image Analysis

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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…show more content…
This violence and presence of deadly weapons just adds to the negative perception of the stereotype of the gangsta image and that people that fit that image are viewed as gangstas. Another film which showed many of the characteristics and behaviors that have come to be associated with the gangsta image is the 1993 film Menace II Society. For instance, one perception of young African American men fitting the gangsta image is the opening scene in Menace II Society when one of the main characters Caine is at a corner store and being looked down upon because of the way he looked and was acting then shoots both the clerk and his wife in a fit of anger then robs the store (Hughes 1993). Often times, a life of crime is one of the behaviors that has come to be linked with the gangsta image. Some other scenes in Menace II Society that further the stereotype of the gangsta image is when he is buying cocaine or when he steals the wheels for the car he purchased from an illegal chop shop. The portrayal of these negative activities in both Straight Outta Compton and in Menace II Society only further the stereotype of the gangsta image amongst the younger African American community. Although the gangsta image was prominently displayed throughout…show more content…
It is clear that people who do not have any connection to the African American community and more specifically African American youth population are susceptible to basing their views based off the portrayals of a few music groups as well as cinematic portrayals in films such as Straight Outta Compton and Menace II Society. Regardless, the gangsta image has become a major stereotype about the African American youth population and it does not seem as though it will be ending any time soon with its continued portrayals in films and other sources of
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