The African-American Image in Films

1114 Words Apr 19th, 2011 5 Pages
The African-American Image in Films
Films serve many functions like education, entertainment, handbooks of social behavior, and a transmitter of cultural and social values. The most effective way in which stereotypes are perpetuated in America is through the mediums of film and television. American films mostly played an influential part in fixing images of ethnic groups in the minds of audience. The negative representation of films or movies sometimes reinforces false assumptions (as poor, dangerous and dumb) about minority groups, for example African-American. The way African-Americans were represented in past films can be proved misrepresentation of minority group by an average viewer. The lack of control of films over the
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In the1998 film ‘Deep Impact,’ it’s a scene that never would have been imagined; a well-dressed attractive woman stands before a group of reporters, and announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States”. At this point, a middle-aged African-American man walked out, the African-American man is Morgan Freeman. In this film, Freeman’s portrayal of the most powerful man in the world seemed more presidential. There was a time when African-Americans were considered as weak and dumb. But those times have changed, and it is reflected on the big screen. In fact, there have been several films over the past ten years that African-Americans have shown as presidents, or presidential candidates
For the longest time, one of the biggest taboos in film has been the subject of interracial relationships. The best example of this taboo would have to be two earlier versions of William Shakespeare’s, ‘Othello’ (1952, 1965) a story that deals with the subject of interracial romance. In both cases, white actors in black face were cast to play the famous Moor of Venice (1952, 1965). But, nowadays story has changed, a black actor playing a black character and the climate of films has also changed, something as little as a kiss between a black man and a white woman on screen. The African-American image in the past that had been perpetuated by Yaphet Frederick Kotto as criminal has changed to loving role of African-American. In 1999’s ‘The
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