The American Film Industry : The Civil Rights Movement Essay

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The American Film industry, even in the 1940’s, was thought to be a progressive space full of liberal ideologies and access to diversity, but unfortunately, this was not the case for African Americans, especially pre-dating the Civil Rights Movement.“Classical Hollywood, in its role as America’s dream factory largely maintained the myth of Black inferiority while minimizing America’s long history of racial injustice.”African Americans were discriminated against in all areas of society, including films where they were underrepresented and often cast to play insignificant roles. The Civil Rights Movement was the necessary response to decades of segregation and discrimination within society. After the Movement, hard-working and talented African Americans took on more dynamic and progressive roles in the film industry, defying the imposed limitations. The start of the Civil Rights Movement in-sighted a turning point within the American film industry that reinvigorated the roles and portrayals of African American 's within film.
Before the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans were predominantly cast in supporting roles that highlighted the racial prejudices Hollywood maintained. Louise Beavers, for instance, was a talented actress that often acted as a maid or a servant throughout her historic career in Hollywood. She was rarely afforded the opportunity to take on diverse parts within her career and was forced to gain weight to fit the build of a black “mammy”. In films like…

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