The Evolution of Minorities in Film Essay

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The Evolution of Minorities in Film

Back in the 1800’s, when calculating the population, African Americans were counted as 3/5 of a person (Antonia, p2). One would think that in the past two hundred years people’s beliefs would have changed a little bit, but the general white public are stuck into believing the common stereotypes commonly portrayed in movies. In films and television shows blacks are almost always portrayed as murderers, robbers, rapists, pretty much anything negative, like American History X, for example. Two black men are shown breaking into a white man’s car. People see this, and in turn believe that all black men will try and steal their car; as stupid as it may seem, it is true, and as a result, film
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White people might not take it very well and possibly get the impression that minorities will never amount to anything, nor be a large portion of the population. In the late 1970’s, the hit-movie Roots took the country by storm serving as an icebreaker for minorities getting into the movie industry. It showed the world that a movie consisting of all black actors could still be a very popular movie. Even though it revolved around the concept of slavery, once Roots came out, minorities started to show up more and more in films. In the years to come, this trend would become more and more of a standard in America’s mainstream culture. In the late 1980’s a film entitled Lethal Weapon came out. In this movie, a black man is shown having the family and being the successful one, while Mel Gibson, the white man, plays the role of the suicidal lunatic after the death of his new wife. This movie was one of the first few movies where this kind of thing was going on. Just for laughs, the two would make fun of each other and make somewhat racist assumptions about each other. But in the end of the movie they end up becoming best friends. Lethal Weapon served as a good movie to unlock the door to the minority/white costar door with due to the way in which it does it in a fun way where the viewer doesn’t even realize that the two were of a different race.

In Die Hard, Bruce Willis is forced to wear a sign
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