Theme of Racism in "American History X" Film Review

Theme of Racism in "American History X"
An analysis of the theme of racism in the movie "American History X".
# 118595 | 1,314 words | 6 sources | APA | 2008 | US
Published on Feb 10, 2010 in African-American Studies (Racism) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper discusses how impression formation theory is linked with the implicit personality theory and applies these theories to the main character, Derek, in the film "American History X". The paper looks at how stereotypes lead to a never ending circle of hate and violence between blacks and whites in the movie and how it is not until Derek lets go of his inaccurate stereotypes that he is able to interact with other races and accept them.

From the Paper:

"The film is about a white family who grew up in Venice beach. The two main characters are brothers, the oldest Derek and Danny. They're racist beliefs were instilled all their life by their father until he is killed on the job, fighting a fire, by black drug dealers. This flames their hatred for black people. They were also tired of getting beat up by minorities so they form their own gang to protect themselves and commit hate crimes. One night Derek discovers his truck being broken into by three black people who were mad at Derek. He murders three of them and is sentenced to prison for five years. In prison he becomes the minority and soon befriends other white supremacists in jail. He is then betrayed by his own race and is then left with no protection. He is then visited by his old English teacher, who is black, the teacher helps Derek realize that hatred has not helped him, his family or the situation at hand. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carie, C, & Wiemann, M (2008) Interpersonal communcation: processes and applications.Boston, Ma: Pearson.
  • Garlick, R. (1993).Verbal descriptions, communicative encounters, and impressions. Communication Quarterly. 41, 394-404.
  • Kayne, T. (2004). Drama. American History X. United States: New Line Home Entertainment
  • McCornack, Steven (2007). Reflect and relate. Boston, Ma: Bedford/St martin.
  • Ray, George B. (1986).Vocally cued personality prototypes: an implicit personality approach. Communication Monographs. 53, 266-277.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Theme of Racism in "American History X" (2010, February 10) Retrieved April 18, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Theme of Racism in "American History X"" 10 February 2010. Web. 18 April. 2021. <>