Discuss the different stereotypes and historical archetypes of African Americans in film. How have they evolved? And how do they affect the image of the African American community and culture today?
There are many stereotypes of African Americans in film. Here are a few that I see:The The Domestic: The domestic is likely one of the earliest stereotypes about African-Americans shown in film. Common alternative names for the domestic may include “the mammy” or “mama,” and African-American women are disproportionately represented as the domestic than African-American men. A relatively recent example of the domestic in film is shown in the movie The Help, which featured several maids in servitude to white families.
The Black Best Friend: The black best friend is often used to guide white characters out of some sort of trouble. Typically female, the black friend is usually portrayed with sass, attitude, and has great insight into relationships and life. We can see this in the movie Sex and the City where Louise, Carrie’s assistant (played by actress Jennifer Hudson) plays this role to Carrie (played by actress Sarah Jessica Parker).
The Brash Woman: Often those of a darker complexion, these women are usually portrayed as sassy, loud, and aggressive – sporting the signature “neck roll” quite often. This is one of the most pervasive stereotypes against African-American women in film. Shows such as Basketball Wives and Flavor Flav exhibit this stereotype. Of course, there ate many additional stereotypes. These kinds of stereotypes are problematic as they become normalized in society because they often serve as defining factors of Blacks, and homogenizes the community into a "Black Culture" when Blackness is so diverse. Within the past year (thankfully), more diverse roles have opened up for African Americans in film, with much credit being due to the #OscarsSoWhite movement. One of the most recent roles is illustrated in the upcoming "The Black Panther" which features a leading cast dominated by Black folks. – Bianca6 years ago
you can also talk about how black-face has made a stereotypical outlook as well. – scole6 years ago
You can also mention how when many black characters do appear on film, they are commonly portrayed as a side-kick or supporting role. When black characters do play a lead role, they tend to be socially skewed in some way; for example, Finn in the latest Star Wars movie is portrayed as socially awkward. There is also a lot of stereotyping concerning The Black Panther who appears in the new Captain America: Civil War movie, such as why he runs so fast even though he has no super powers, or why the audience is left in the dark for so long as to whether The Black Panther character is actually a hero or not. There is the battle between Captain America and The Black Panther where The Black Panther is arguably the biggest battle keeping Captain America from achieving his admirable goal.
It's also important to analyze the fact that being black isn't the only type of discrimination the characters you mentioned are suffering from. Gender in combination with race is also important to consider. – NomiTurner6 years ago
Hopefully whoever writes this topic will talk about Empire, Black-ish and BET and the impact of these shows. Recently, on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah someone from Black – Munjeera6 years ago
ish and he discussed the growing portrayal of diversity in the media concerning the African American community. But we need more roles and opportunities for creative expression. – Munjeera6 years ago
Unless you are white, more than likely people will want you to play a stereotype. I know Hispanics have the biggest issue with this – Zegram6 years ago
I think a great place to reference would be the early films (from the late 80s to mid 90s) that became prominent in the context of depicting African American narratives which were - and still are - marginalized. Examples include Spike Lee's filmography from that time as well as Boyz in The Hood. There was a scene in Jungle Fever that still harrows me to date, where a group of Black women are discussing how inadequate they've felt given the prominence and reverence of eurocentric aesthetics. I don't know the exact time stamp, but it happens shortly after Flipper's wife throws him out. – Fallen6 years ago
It's important to note how, as a product of weak storytelling, will often rely on the use of racial archetypes. Which, in turn, reinforce the stereotypes they were drawing from. Directors should, therefore, be expected to have some level of education before delivering these characters. – Sebastian Shoe6 years ago