Society 's Perception Of African American Youth Essay

1286 Words Dec 16th, 2016 6 Pages
If the characters in Dead Poet 's Society had watched Half Nelson or other movies like it that stereotype African-American youth, urban schools, and the communities in which both reside; their elitist, predominately white surroundings at Welton Academy would not have given them any reason to negate those myths. The students, parents, and school administrators/faculty in Dead Poet 's Society would most likely conclude that urban, African American youth are thugs and drug dealers who dress like gangsters and speak in Ebonics. Whether they realize it or not, filmmakers are negatively shaping society’s perception of African American youth by portraying African Americans as a race of menacing individuals who should be segregated from decent, white citizens.
In Half Nelson, the main character, a middle-school history teacher named Dan Dunne, abused crack and cocaine which altered his moral equilibrium so that what was right looked wrong and what was wrong seemed right. Drey, an African-American student of Mr. Dunne, lived in a predominately black community with drug dealers. Her older brother was in jail assumedly for dealing drugs in partnership with Frank, a black male who enticed Drey to sell drugs for him. The turning point leading to the conclusion of the movie occurs when Mr. Dunne buys drugs from Drey.
Of course, Mr. Dunne experienced many low points in the movie because of his drug usage and Drey began to experience low points due to her inappropriate friendship…

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