Hollywood's Influence On American Culture

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The American society has oppressed the black culture and society since the first slave was dragged onto American soil. Hollywood first embraced this oppressed image and depicted it on film. Early depictions of blacks on film (commonly played by whites in blackface) fulfilled the white stereotype of black society. As the American culture advanced, the image of blacks created on film was also altered. Blacks experienced a period of "whiteness" on film. During this time, Hollywood utilized "the equal-by-being-superior philosophy." (Bogle 178) This role was most successfully played by Sidney Poitier. As the cycle continued, the image of blacks on film regressed back to stereotypical depictions. Only this time blacks played the stereotyped characters.…show more content…
The whites wore blackface, common for the time, to create the appearance of being black. Under this guise, whites were able to portray a stereotyped depiction of the black people. The NAACP opposed the film immediately. Griffith himself was puzzled by the reactions. Griffith argued that The Birth of a Nation was about war and reconstruction, not race. This stance Griffith had taken only furthers the stereotype created on film. The idea that Griffith did not realize he was creating a highly racist film signifies the attitude of society at the time. It points to the idea that much of the American culture, at the time, was passively racist. They views that society had come to accept as reality, was not reality at all. The black depiction, as seen in The Birth of a Nation, continued for several years until Hollywood film reached another turning
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