Miscegenation: Progress Then and Now

2537 WordsJun 16, 201811 Pages
The freedom to marry whomever one chooses has historically been a huge issue in the United States, and it continues to be an issue today. Obstacles for romantic relationships can stem from prejudices regarding wealth, age, gender, and more. This paper in particular aims to examine the concept of racial discrimination in miscegenation in both the past and the present through its presence in film. Film can be an incredibly effective window into the popular opinions of the era in which they are produced. Films portray the ideas, the prejudices, and the treatment of people of color during the production time. To further explore the concept of the attitudes toward miscegenation presented in class, this paper will examine the progress of its…show more content…
Because of social and romantic rejection from both African American and white communities, some biracial people committed suicides out of isolation. (Scheffer, 2013, p.38) Because this discrimination was so commonplace in society that it was normal to have laws against interracial marriages, it makes sense that these ideals would be seen in the media and film during the 1930s. The belief in the past that miscegenation between a black person and a white person should not occur is reflected by the entertainment of the time, particularly in film. Zouzou is a 1934 movie that reflects the societal rejection of African American and white miscegenation in the 1930s. The film depicts the story of an African American girl named Zouzou, and her white “twin” brother, Jean, who grew up with her in a travelling circus. Zouzou loves Jean, but he becomes involved with a white woman (Allegret, 1934). Because Jean, a white man, ends up in love with the white woman, it reinforces the idea that a romantic relationship between two white people is much more natural and preferable than one between two different races. In the film, it doesn’t matter that Zouzou was a successful and famous black woman, which was different from many films during its time. The consequential message was that ultimately Zouzou’s race was enough to keep her
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