Ethnic Notions: Film Analysis

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The film Ethnic Notions goes into detail about historical stereotypes towards blacks in an all-white society. And its need to be able to justify racism in an ever changing society. The images displayed in the films are quite disheartening, but accurately portray race relations in America, and its quite affect on African American citizens. Ethnic Notions begins to allow the viewer to understand racial consciousness in America.

In the film the coon(zip/urban coon) is shown as free blacks not being able to assimilate into white society and not having the freedom to express themselves. I feel as if the movie White Chicks displays the stereotypes of the coon. Even though it’s a role reversal of the two main characters being in “whiteface.” It
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She has no sexual allure, but she contradicts social norms by being in charge of her home. The modern day example, I choose is the movie “The Help” the mammy character is a maid whose sole purpose is to take care of the white children and serve loyally to the family. She looks perfectly happy in the white families ' eyes to serve their family happily.

Brutes are shown in the media as big African American men who were stereotyped as wanting to kill and insight relations with white virgin women. They are seen as wide-eyed savage and grotesque. Modern day examples of a brute character would be Jamie Foxx’s character in Django. He shows the characteristics of a stereotypical Brute; he is a free slave searching for his wife. On his journey, he kills white people for money along with his white
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he is a content slave and is no threat to whites. He is dependable and reliable, this image show black men being subservient interred of in charge. The Suite Life of Zach and Cody a show I use to watch as a child, the character Mosby, I feel is a modern day example of the uncle or uncle tom. Mosby is loyal and attentive to his takes at the hotel and the need of the boys.

Sambo’s show that blacks are docile, lazy, dependent, and happy to serve the white man. The Sambo is also portrayed as a child that isn’t capable of responsibility. These characters reinforce the beliefs about the inherent laziness of black people, especially black males. For this stereotype I chose Tracy Morgan from 30 Rock, in the show, his character can be found joking and laughing. Sometimes Morgan’s character can be very lazy and reluctant to work.

There is a lot to be done to change the inherent stereotypes placed on the black community by white society. These old stereotypes of the faithful mammy, coon, and the savage brute can be replaced by positive images like P&G My Black is a Beautiful campaign. These images sadly were a part of popular culture from the 1800s until the Civil Rights era and still affect the psyche of African Americans. In order to break white oppression, African Americans need to build up the psychological image of our people in mass

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