Movies and entertainment outlets speak volumes about the current state of a nation’s culture. Cinematic creations in the United States allow small voices to be heard and controversial issues to be addressed. However, a repetitive and monumental issue continues to be addressed, yet continues to persist in our 21st century culture, racial inequalities. Since the inception of the United States, black men and women alike have been disenfranchised at the hands of the “white man” in America. Instead of continuing the conversation today, the issue is continually silenced referencing the successes and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century. Nonetheless, an unfortunate reality looms upon this great land; racially based systems and structures continue to exist in 2015 the in United States. This paper synthesizes three films focused on racial inequalities in different time periods. Separate but Equal (1991), Selma (2015), and Crash (2005) illustrate how influential the Civil War amendments are, while serving as an uncanny reminder of how the racial prejudices during the 20th century continue to exist in our great nation today. Needless to say our nation has made great strides, but still has a long way to go.
To many people across a variety of different nationalities and cultures, race has been proven to be a key factor for how society views you in the eyes of those who are prominently in charge. The term race has been brought up in recent years, to be considered a form of identification, as the word race is used to describe physical characteristics such as a person’s color of skin, hair, and eyes. When in reality, the correct term they should be using is Ethnicity. As a result, the term race is used to separate people into sub-categories based on the color of their skin. This type of classification, is a man-made creation used by society to classify certain groups of people into lower classes, while keeping the predominate group in charge at the top.
Shameless is a Golden-Globe nominated show with a white dominated cast. One of the siblings on the show is black, but is identified as a White male contrary to the character’s skin tone. “When it comes to representations of Blacks on television, the 1980s can be seen as a decade of elevated inclusion both in terms of the quantity and quality of roles -- which remains the norm today. (Tukachinsky, Mastro, & Yarchi, 2015). Over the years, we will see more shows gearing their audiences to the black community. Producers add in a few social issues to reel viewers in, but the fact remains the same that a prime time heavy hitting shows, will most likely have less than 20% of their cast of African descent. In consonance with researchers, blacks currently constitute between 14-17 percent of the prime-time population. (Tukachinsky, Mastro, & Yarchi, 2015). The lack of representation in the media can lead to some interpreting that the Caucasian race is the superior race, and in retrospect, can influence the attitudes and beliefs of viewers. Prior research has shown that exposure to counter stereotypic exemplars in the media can have a positive effect on inter-group relations. (Scharrer, & Ramasubramanian, 2015) In order to reduce the misrepresentation from taking over the media, we must depict a positive image on the lives of minorities and portray them as successful, thriving human beings. By
Prior to beginning my readings on white racial identity, I did not pay much attention to my white race. If someone had asked me to describe my appearance I would have said short blond hair, blue eyes, average stature, etc. One of the last things I would have noted was the color of my skin. Growing up in overwhelmingly white communities, I never thought to use the color of my skin to differentiate myself from others. Over the course of this dialogue I have learned that my white racial identity is one of the most defining aspects of my appearance in this society. There is a certain level of privilege that I am afforded based solely on the color of my skin. According to Peggy McIntosh, “White privilege is like an invisible weightless
Society has a way of making assumptions based on one’s physical characteristics. Often at times we categorize individuals to a particular social group. In regard to society’ perception of an individual this however, contributes to the development of social construction of racism. Most people want to be identified as individuals rather than a member of specific social group. As a result, our social identity contains different categories or components that were influenced or imposed. For example, I identify as a, Jamaican, Puerto Rican and a person of color. I identify racially as a person of color and ethically as Jamaican and Puerto Rican. According to Miller and Garren it’s a natural human response for people to make assumptions solely
Racial Formation in the United States by Michael Omi and Howard Winant made me readjust my understanding of race by definition and consider it as a new phenomenon. Through, Omi and Winant fulfilled their purpose of providing an account of how concepts of race are created and transformed, how they become the focus of political conflict, and how they shape and permeate both identities and institutions. I always considered race to be physical characteristic by the complexion of ones’ skin tone and the physical attributes, such as bone structure, hair texture, and facial form. I knew race to be a segregating factor, however I never considered the meaning of race as concept or signification of identity that refers to different types of human bodies, to the perceived corporal and phenotypic makers of difference and the meanings and social practices that are ascribed to these differences, in which in turn create the oppressing dominations of racialization, racial profiling, and racism. (p.111). Again connecting themes from the previous readings, my westernized influences are in a direct correlation to how to the idea of how I see race and the template it has set for the rather automatic patterns of inequalities, marginalization, and difference. I never realized how ubiquitous and evolving race is within the United States.
People of all races enjoy a good film or tv show but, they sometimes are not being represented equally. Representation matters because, it is important to teach the younger generations about their race’s worldview on what they find normal. Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted a psychological study where, “children were shown two dolls, one black and one white. They were asked to choose which one they preferred, which one was ‘bad’ and which one was ‘good.’ The results were the same across races: the children generally preferred the white doll and saw that doll as ‘good’…. but it is really no surprise if you look at the media these children are consuming”(The
One of the most prevalent themes throughout the world’s history is the dispute over race and racial differences. But, there is a problem: the majority of the population doesn’t have a clear understanding of what race is. Race is a socially constructed grouping of people that was created in order for people to differentiate themselves from one another and has many sources of influence. While most people believe race is determined by biological characteristics (hair type, skin color, eye shape, etc.), this is not true. To make things more complicated, there is no cut and dry definition to race. Authors of Race and Ethnicity in Society, Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margret Anderson, claim that there are seven different distinct ways to define race. They begin with the popular belief of biological characteristics, and, as mentioned before, through social construction. They go on to note that race can be formed from an ethnic group, from social class rank, from racial formation by institutions, and also can form from one’s self-definition (Higginbotham & Anderson, 2012, p. 13). All of these ways to define race have been seen throughout our history, and many of them have caused problems for minorities, especially in the United States.
Defining someone by their skin color is an everyday phenomenon. Many people see a specific shade of skin and believe they know exactly how that person is going to speak, carry, and illustrate themselves. It seems to be embedded in one’s head at a young age to have specific views given by family, friends, and coworkers such as, believing interracial relationships are immoral, or it being acceptable to judge others according to their skin color. In the articles “Race is a Four Letter Word” by Teja Arboleda and “Mr. Z” by M. Carl Holman, the color of the authors skin plays a substantial role on how they are treated and perceived. Living in a society that doesn’t understand one’s culture can make their life extremely difficult.
Racism and discrimination continue to be a prevalent problem in American society. Although minorities have made significant strides toward autonomy and equality, the images in media, specifically television, continue to misrepresent and manipulate the public opinion of blacks. It is no longer a blatant practice upheld by the law and celebrated with hangings and beatings, but instead it is a subtle practice that is perceived in the entertainment and media industries. Whether it’s appearing in disparaging roles or being negatively portrayed in newscasts, blacks continue to be the victims of an industry that relies on old ideas to appeal to the majority. The viscous cycle that is the unconscious racism of the media continues to not only be
During the process of producing a television series, the demand for the producers to introduce their characters with only their highlighted traits make it impossible for viewers to gain a deep understanding of the community that the characters represent. One of the stereotypic traits that is usually seen on movies and television shows is societal difference that each race is placed into. Michael Omi in his article In Living Color: Race and American Culture stated that “in contemporary television and film, there is a tendency to present and equate racial minority groups and individuals with specific social problems” (546). There are many films and television shows found today that ground racial minorities into a specific social problems that are related to the color of their skin. It can be inferred from the current popular culture that this stereotype still persists.
A Netflix TV show, Dear White People produced by Justin Simien, is about the students of Winchester University. This show tends to target not only the Netflix customers, but the black and white audience as well; the entire first season generally focuses on the media, racial, and gender roles within the community as well as the mainstream problem of the unrecognized white privilege by white skinned people. Looking up who the producer is, it turns out that Simien is a black-skinned man. Therefore, he fully understands the politics and the human behavior towards the black race from the white race (considering racism towards people with his skin color has been around for so long). Being black-skinned is already clear for many people to assume that he probably has dealt with the racism majority of his life, considering the repeating themes throughout the show. Even with the title, the producer is purposefully calling out to the specific audiences in a straightforward way. According to some reviews, many have concluded that Dear White People is extremely offensive to them. While watching the show, there were a few significant and periodic themes that showed throughout the first season and the major themes I chose were important how the roles of media played throughout the show. As a result, the roles of the media within the show reveals that people tend to communicate to the public of who they they really are as a person by showing what they want the public to see them as: in a
the other was the imbalances created in the televison between black and white community. it teaches young black to accept minority status as noticebely inevietable and even deserved. television also overrepresent and glamourize the elite occupation that sets up unrealistic expectations and largely neglects portraying the occupation such as farmers, factory workers and small businessman. On television 55% of characters are involved in the violent conforontation once a week in reality figure is less than 1 % creating a fear of crime. the way the race and the racial minority groups are represented in television they contribute to the overall racial climate.The historical results have been distinct and different groups have encountered unique forms of racial opression. Native american faced genocide , blacks were subjected to slavery, mexicans were invaded and asians faced exclusions. Films and televsions have been notorious in dissementing images of racial minorities which establish for audiences what these groups look like, how they behave and in essence who they are. Another important perhaps central dimensions of racial minority streotype is sex gender differentiation. women of color were sometimes treated as erotic sex objects. such a comment revelas an interesting aspects about myths and reality in american culture. the imporatance of race
The following paper will discuss two of the major dimensions of my cultural identity, and analyze the way in which my identity holds privileges, or has exposed me to oppression. Being that I am white, I have lived a life of privilege simply because of the color of my skin. I have been afforded opportunities, and lived a life free from persecution due to my skin color. I have also lived a life that has been impacted by oppression because of my female identity. This unique position between privilege and oppression is where I live my life.
In the 21st century, movies present a platform for ideas and themes to be conveyed through a screen. Themes of change, environmental crisis, love, and death are all only a few of the most common themes that circulate through the Hollywood film industry. According to Annalee Newitz in her essay “When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like Avatar?”, a recurring theme she’s noticed is the theme of white guilt. In her essay, Newitz depicts the movie Avatar as nothing more than a colorful rehash of this (apparently) common white guilt scenario. This is where the main white protagonist leaves the oppressive (white) side to join the oppressed native side upon seeing the error of his ways. Some Americans, including Newitz, believe that movies