In 1863 the emancipation proclamation was signed giving African American citizens the right to vote. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act passed outlawing discrimination based on, among other qualities, race. Although progress in racial equality is evident, its slower than many assume. W.E.B. Du Bois (p.373) lamented, “The Nation has not yet found peace from its sins; the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land.” America’s culture of racial stereotyping and hidden racism is explored in Robin D. G. Kelly’s essay “Confessions of a nice negro, or why I shaved my Head”, and complimented by Du Bois’s pioneering theories regarding the color line, the veil, double consciousness, and standpoint epistemology found in “The Souls of Black folk” and “The Souls of White Folk.”
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.
This alone was reason enough for envy and hatred” (Packer 179). The “envy and hatred” blacks bear towards white people is due to the prevailing elegance the whites seem to radiate. For a fourth grader, the smallest thing such as someone’s hair is deemed sufficient to cultivate belligerent feelings toward that person. Such encouragement fuels prejudices and eventually result in racism. Often the society and the environment in which children are raised pass down these prejudices. The Anti-Defamation League wrote in an article, “Blacks and others are seen by racists as merely subhuman, more like beasts than men.”
In the late 1960s, the Afro hairstyles became a political statement, announcing, “I am black and proud” and challenged white aesthetics. This movement asked Black people to show their natural beauty without shame, spreading to the world that black is beautiful (BlackHistory.com). However, two decades later, this statement has slowly faded away and has been replaced by fake hair weaves and hair straightening chemical creams. Today, African Americans spend over half a trillion dollars on hair care and weaves, more than any other racial group. Majority of African American women do not feel the need to wear their hair naturally, and choose to chemically straighten their hair (Johnson & Bankhead, 2014).
This was the argument between the two groups after which they went to Madame Re-Re’s beauty salon to clash and express their feelings in a musical and dance fashion. The song and dance off ended with both groups coming together to show that it is petty and when all is said and done we are all black, no matter what shade. Taken from an unknown source that said, ‘color issues within the race will hurt more than any issue with someone outside of the race.’ You would think that we would all be willing to fans happy to accept our own race but sometimes it’s totally different. In ‘School Daze’ Lee shows the black man and his refusal to recognize his African roots. An article titled ‘A house is not a home: Black students responses to racism in university residential halls. Says black kids have a more negative attitude towards each other than those of the white race. This is evident in School daze as it is an all-black college and you think it would be peaceful but it was the total opposite. School Daze also touches on the black man and his refusal to recognize his African roots, Dap, gets into many heated discussions on campus trying to enlighten his fellow
Citizens throughout American history have often presented the “home of the free” and the “land of the brave” as the perfect nation, filled with perfect families, and more extreme examples of how impeccable the nation truly is. No time presented the United States of America in a more splendid light than the 1950’s. The 1950’s are remembered as a decade of prosperity but as with every time period, multiple historical issues marred this time. The United States encountered political, diplomatic, and social issues throughout this decade (Hewitt and Lawson, 832). Hairspray, the 1988 film by John Waters, was set in the 1950’s and reveals depths of racism and stereotypes during this period, while presenting smaller examples of the issues of sexism, religion, and inequality.
The movie shows the hardship and struggles of the black children and adults who are just trying to live their life in a disrespectful, uncaring white society. The movie has many scenes that show how blacks were treated by others, some scenes were more intense in showing racism than others. Some scenes are less graphic but racism was still obvious. An example of this is the way that other white coaches would talk to each other about Texas Western and insult them just because they were different from other college basketball teams at this time. There was one scene where the team was on the road traveling and they stopped for dinner one night at a restaurant. Before the basketball team enters the restaurant, people in the restaurant were talking badly about the team and giving them dirty looks simply because of their skin color. In some scenes, racism was also shown in more intense ways. An example of this is when the team stopped at a restaurant to get some food and get ready for the game. One of the players left the team to use the bathroom. While the player was in the restroom, that player was ganged up on by two or three white men and the player was assaulted and beat up very badly. The events and blatant racism really took its toll on the team. After some of these
With the rise in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, racism has been a hot topic of discussion in news, music, television, and in film. America is finally beginning to understand and confront the effects of racism in society. Although the country still has a long way to go in regards to reform and achieving true equality, the acknowledgement of the existence of racism is a large first step. Despite the frequency of conversations about racism, there is still one vital aspect that is ignored and overlooked that greatly contributes to the hindrance of true change. Colorism. As a society, when speaking of racial inequality in the black community we fail to realize the role colorism has and the effect it has on those that suffer from it. Colorism in the black community is one of the main things that keeps us from
Throughout America’s history there have been many struggles with equality amongst the many racial identities that live in this “melting pot.” Acceptance of the many races is a continuous goal in the war on racism in America. Once accepted, many racial identities go under huge scrutiny by the media, society, and their other racial counterparts, etc. Black Sexual Politics by Patricia Hill Collins is a critical analysis of blacks in America and blacks as a race. The book analyzes this race on various levels, and these levels include, but are not limited to the following: the concept of “new” racism, gender ideology within the race, and the potential for progression of
One aspect of life for black people in the United States of America that has always remained consistent is white racial hostility. A history of slavery, segregation, unequal protection of the law, and second class citizenship inflicted by a white power structure that dominates on a national level has created a harmful reality for black people. Every aspect of black public life must either be under the control of or in opposition to white supremacy. Every state-sanctioned institution works to use black bodies as tools for the production of capital in any form, yet simultaneously exploits and maltreats black people so that they cannot fully participate in and benefit from the systems which they are indoctrinated to invest in. White America leverages its money, comfort, and tyranny on Black America. It is for this reason that separate spaces are not merely essential to the viability of black counter-publics but inherent to their existence, since black involvement in white spaces and systems typically leads to black assimilation or marginalization. Within these black counter-publics, hip hop and mass connection through new media forms direct attention and allow for personal expression which shapes black worldview and public opinion, but this simply makes black people more comfortable with their oppression and less involved in politics.
Who are we? What defines us? In America, we are defined by our class, what we do and most importantly – how we look. Since the birth of our nation, a notion of “race” has been rooted to our core personas. In fact it can enforce stereotypes of class and careers. It is evident that Black Americans are un-proportionally living in poverty and without easy access to achievement. This harsh reality is not helped by our media-driven society. In a world so heavily integrated with mass media hysteria, we scroll past posts that can have the countering effects of degradation or empowerment through our identities. While movements of Black Power can be painted through media, it also not hard to see the difference between the ways in which Black Americans are manipulated within the lens of media. They are portrayed as fitting a certain stereotype – uneducated, violent and intriguingly exotic. For example, while women in general face the enemy of “sex sells”, black women have this experience intensified. These women are portrayed as exotic sexual beings. They are objectified and degraded with the intent of women of color being seen as sexually gratifying, but nothing more. The parallels to the mindset one hundred years ago is uncanny – black women, black men and black children are seen as objects to appropriate and use for the media’s benefit. We can see this through our some of our “greatest” stars. Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians and even Justin Timberlake have taken a culture and twisted
Being black has several dynamics. There are countless skin tones, hair textures, facial features and subcultures within the black community. However, none of those variations make an individual any less black whether they have lighter skin or softer features. Being black is not described by physical characteristics, but it is about the shared ancestry, culture and values within the ethnicity. During the twentieth century, being black was shamed. The hand game that stating, “White you’re right, black get back”, was very significant within the film because that mindset is still prevalent in today’s society. Young African-Americans often struggle with their identity and embracing with their skin tone. Likewise, within the black community manhood
The author should dive some more into what it had meant for women back then to have a certain kind of hairstyle during the political movement period, between the 1960s to 1970s. One of the main reasons for the political movement was to help bring awareness to the issues whether the black women should straighten their hair or not, and if there were going to be any consequences of doing that. Many were afraid of getting openly killed for changing the way they were wearing their hair, from mostly wearing it in the natural form to the recent popular straightening
My opinion of the race relations depicted on campus in the film is mixed. Compared to my experiences of being at college, the race issues at Winchester University appear drastic. However, the issues of race relations on campuses show in the media seem to be similar to the issues at Winchester, if not worse. The issue of separate housing for blacks seems strange to me. Relating to my personal experiences at TCNJ, I have never heard of/seen separate housing based on race because it promotes racial segregation. I have read that there are many black students that want separate housing at college but I think that will only revert people's behavior and views back to segregational times of oppression.