African Americans in Film
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This paper relates that the growing acceptance of race in the United States over the years has changed the way that African Americans are depicted in films. The paper discusses D.W. Griffith's 1915 controversial film "The Birth of a Nation" where blacks are portrayed as lazy and animal-like in nature. The paper then looks at Stanley Kramer's 1958 film "The Defiant Ones" that many consider to be a groundbreaking film with regards to dealing with racism. Finally, the paper examines Spike Lee's 1989 film "Do the Right Thing" and relates that his filmmaking was fair and powerful at the same time. The paper asserts that his film should be held up as an example of the great evolution of African-American depiction in American cinema.
From the Paper:"The depiction of African Americans in films has changed drastically since the early days of cinema up to present day, yet to understand how their depiction in films has changed, it is important to go back to the early days of cinema. In the early days of cinema, there weren't many roles for African American actors because they were not represented in film; when they were represented, the way in which they were depicted was oftentimes not in a positive way and this has left a mark on our culture. The representation of African Americans in the early days of cinema oftentimes was based on stereotypes and myths about Black people. Over the years, the representation of African Americans became more positive. "Art imitates life" so the saying goes, and because of that, films reflect the society and culture in which they were made. The growing acceptance of race in the United States over the years has changed the way that African Americans are depicted in films."
Sample of Sources Used:
- African Americans. "The Birth of a Nation". (2007). Retrieved on December 16, 2008 from, http://www.africanamericans.com/BirthofANation.htm
- "Do the Right Thing". New York Times. (1989, May 20). Retrieved on December 16, 2008 from, http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9905E5DF153AF933A15756C0A96F948260
- Ebert, Roger. "Do the Right Thing". Chicago Sun Times. (2001, May 27). Retrieved on December 16, 2008 from, http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20010527/REVIEWS08/105270301/1023
- Vera, Herman & Gordon, Andrew. Screen Saviors. (2003). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Cite this Term Paper:
African Americans in Film (2009, August 31) Retrieved December 13, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/african-americans-in-film-116196/
"African Americans in Film" 31 August 2009. Web. 13 December. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/african-americans-in-film-116196/>