Race is an important factor in shaping personal identity for many individuals, especially African Americans. Films play a significant role in representing different races and their personal identities on screen. The portrayal of race and its impact on personal identity can be seen in two films, Blade II (2022) and The Matrix (1999). This paper aims to explore how these films depict African American personal identity or racial heritage, compare and contrast the two films, and how they define or construct a national identity.
Blaxploitation as a genre is not present in the two films, Blade II and The Matrix. Blaxploitation refers to a subgenre of exploitation films that were made in the 1970s and featured predominantly African American casts. …show more content…
Blade II and The Matrix are two examples of how African American personal identity or racial heritage can be depicted on screen. Both films present fully-formed characters who are defined by their personalities and motivations, rather than their race. While Blade II presents its African American lead as a powerful and dominant character, The Matrix portrays its African American lead as a wise and guiding figure. Both films contribute to the construction of a national identity, with The Matrix offering a critique of the power structures and systems of control that exist in …show more content…
(2019, August 3). Blaxploitation Films to Know: ‘Dolemite,’ ‘Coffy,’ ‘Blacula’ & More. Variety. Retrieved from https://variety.com/gallery/blaxploitation-films-to-know-dolemite-eddie-murphy/im-gonna-git-you-sucka-1988/
IMDb. (1999). The Matrix (1999). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/
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The films that I chose to explore in this paper are Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee and Lone Star by John Sayles. Each film offers examples of counter narratives in my opinion. There are many examples of characters vying for both power and respect from characters of the other race. Spike Lee, however, has an undeniably unique style that offers a counter on many levels.
I have chosen to focus on the issue of racial stereotypes and biases, particularly regarding the movie "Boyz n the Hood. " The movie is an interesting crime drama film released in 1991 and directed by John Singleton. It mostly follows the lives of African-American youths growing up in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of South-Central Los Angeles, especially the Crenshaw neighborhood. Analyzing this film is essential in understanding various assumptions and preconceived notions different audience members may bring and whether the movie reinforces or challenges those expectations. One of the assumptions and biases audience members may have in relation to the film is racial stereotypes.
The author's emphasis on the effects of race and racial identity on people and their lives is perceptive and thought-provoking, and it offers a helpful framework for more investigation and studies in this field. In addition to highlighting the significance of power and inequality in influencing our experiences and perspectives, the author's use of the symbolic interactionist perspective offers insightful information about how race and racial identity contribute to ongoing injustices and inequalities. Anyone who wants to learn more about the complexity of race and racism should read this book. Tatum also skillfully shows the realities of racial tension and prejudice in America through personal tales and instances. This serves as a potent reminder of the need for ongoing work to create a more just and equitable society.
THESIS Similar to many of the other selections we have read, to be Black in America is an enormous struggle. Through slavery, oppression, discrimination, and more; history has proven that this country was not built upon making individuals of African ancestry comfortable here. With the personal recollections of numerous horror stories of oppression, Assata Shakur goes on to explain how truly oppressed the Black individuals of America are.
Nevertheless, actually, many people have a strong racial prejudice. Anthony Walton reveals it in his work My Secret Life as a Black Man. He discusses the right of individual to personal identity and portrays an irreconcilable conflict between an individual's desire for authenticity and racial stereotyping and prejudices in society. Unfortunately, the power of stereotypes is manifested in all aspects of our life. Walton wants to distance himself from the society that tries to shape his views, attitudes and behavioral norms.
This film critiques the Hollywood system for its limited representation of people of color as well as the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes. In the dubbing sequence, Dash calls to attention the technique of dubbing where a white woman is dubbed by a black woman. This stylistic choice uses dubbing as a metaphor to represent black invisibility. Furthermore, the film shows how Mignon’s experiences are shaped by both her race and gender. Even though she is forced to hide her true identity and pass as a white woman in order to succeed in the film industry, illustrates the complexity of navigating her racial identity in a society that values whiteness above everything else.
Racism is portrayed as a pervasive and deeply rooted problem in the movie. Specific examples of racism include the police officer's assumption that Khalil was dangerous solely based on his race, the media's biased portrayal of the incident, and the systemic racism within the criminal justice system. These instances highlight the unequal treatment and stereotypes faced by people of color. For teaching and learning, the film provides a platform for discussions on racial bias, prejudice, and the need for societal change.
The plot is changed but keeps the theme of blaxploitation within the story. Instead of using the same plot as “Foxy Brown,” Tarantino takes a different lead on the story that has more focus on the plot itself. Jackie plays a more serious role of chasing a large amount of money against others. ("The 50 Best Blaxploitation Movies - 49. Disco Godfather” (1979).
Moreover, demonstrate consequences are taken to oppress racial and ethnic minorities to keep them in a subservient position. Overall, this film has provided me with a visual depiction of how stereotypes are a mental tool that enforces racial segregation and self-hate. The label of “White” became a necessity for Sarah Jane to achieve in society. To attain it she needed to move to a new city, change her name and deny her mother.
It is also easier to deny the reality when one is fixated on a popular myth that unequal treatments and racism ended. The so-called freedom society talks of in America does not apply to everyone. With the stereotypes formed, portrayed, and passed down, oppression continues in obvious and subtle ways. This film showed the affects the stereotypes have on people. Even with an understanding of history, the audience might find themselves rethinking American history and modern
Ethnicity and Hollywood Racism is always issues which take a huge part of American history. Until the twenty-first century, although people tried to make the country becomes the freedom and equality nation, these issues are still happening everywhere. According to "In Living Color: Race and American Culture," Stuart Hall argues that racism is still widespread in the society and "it is widely invisible even to those who formulate the world in its terms" (qtd. in Omi 683). Indeed, situations about race quietly exist in the movie industry, which "has led to the perpetuation of racial caricatures" to the majority audiences and even minority audiences (Omi 629).
The film is able to lay claim to those aspects of authenticity most often accorded to documentary film and autobiography because of its subject. As a narrative device, the film uses three distinct approaches to situating and grounding the historical identity of Malcolm X, and defining historic African American collective identity. The approaches to history, as used in the film,
I chose this film because it showed how hard the union workers and families worked in fighting racial injustices, and because it inspired myself to move forward with strong ideologies and pride. 2. Stereotyping in mass media was an important concern of Chicana/o media activists because it imprinted a demeaning label by only casting Chicana/o actors with "minor roles: villains, sidekicks, temptresses, where their main function is to provide the protagonists, typically a handsome white
Even though there has been a substantial progress in establishing racial democracy and social tolerance towards cultural diversity, race still remains a debatable topic to discuss in the United States today. Therefore, the depiction of race through cinematic lens can be a quite challenging process as well as a complex task for a film director. Spike Lee, a successful independent filmmaker has managed throughout his career to address the difficult sociopolitical issue of race in the American screen, by exposing the audience to the harsh social reality. In the contemporary post-racial American society, race has rather become a “fashionable” topic to discuss on TV media and film “as a more genuine proof” (Dirks and Mueller 124) that society has progressed.