Birth Of A Nation Film Analysis

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1. Representation of African American stereotypes in American cinema.
Continuous debates are still occurring towards the representation of African Americans in Hollywood cinema which has been happening for over a century. Black men have been addressed in the media as lazy, violent, and several other negative archetypes that ruin the black community. African Americans first appearance on minstrel shows began through the late 1820’s and eventually developed to perform on television in the 20Th Century. Throughout the blackface era, minstrel performances were acted out by white men with blackface makeup and overstated lips, clothing and southern Blacks accent. According to Rogin, “minstrelsy was the first and most popular form of mass culture
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5). Since that era, the stereotypes America has labelled African Americans became a natural expectation to any person with dark skin tone. Throughout the years, Africa American appearances in mainstream films developed majorly as well as the number of independent African American filmmakers. Donald Bogle is an author of his well-known book about uncovering the five main stereotypes that African Americans have been stereotyped for years. As mentioned earlier, Birth of A Nation (1915) was the main film example Bogle explored these negative stereotypes. Mentioned by Lupack, the film was, “… the first important full length film to depict the figure of the brutal, villainous, sexually aggressive black and to establish many of the other racist stereotypes that would be imitated by filmmakers for years to come” (2002, p. 1). These stereotypes are; Toms, Coons, Mammies, Tragic Mulattoes and Black Buck. However, this chapter will only be analysing the three main stereotypes of black men which are, the Tom, the Coon and the Blackbuck. These stereotypes used to…show more content…
When Dr. Schultz, a bounty hunter comes to the rescue and chooses Django to help him track down certain white people to catch, he lets the other slaves free and gives them a chance to shoot those two harsh white men. “The shifting stereotypes in Django Unchained have ideological implications of American slavery and their relationship to that history” (Speck, 2014, p. 248). Django was given the opportunity of freedom and to find his wife after catching the certain men. Django was also treated as a normal human being and not a slave, as he was given new clothes and a haircut. Also, he was seen riding on a horse which stunned the town they had entered. The reason of this seen Tarantino created was to prove the reactions racists had towards the black man acting like a white man. Django played by Jaime Foxx, is later on shown to be the macho hero in a western film. This gave an advantage for Tarantino to create a powerful character for Django. Speck also
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