Summary: The Birth Of A Nation

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“The Birth of a Nation” by D.W. Griffith was the first blockbuster film in American history. It was an amazing feat of cinema and nailed its place in history. However, while “The Birth of a Nation” boasts these achievements it is without question one of the most racist movies of all time. This movie not only show glorifies the Ku Klux Klan as heroes of America, but also shows the misrepresentation of black people and the role that black people will have in films.
Looking back at the time the film was released there was still a racist and hateful sentiment towards black people. “Nativism, the belief that the United States should be preserved primarily for white Anglo-Saxons, grew in strength on several fronts from the 1880s on.” (Getz 27). This belief of nativism can be seen in Griffith’s film bluntly by the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan and the demonization of black people. My belief is that D.W. Griffith was not innately racist, but a representation of the common sentiment at the time the film was made. It was common for people to have a mind where Anglo-Saxons are “more human” than others and this is a major factor when analyzing “The Birth of a Nation” from a historicism standpoint and
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Griffith puts forth this notion of a white America was the best for America in a scene where black people intimidated white voters at the ballot box in order to vote black representatives. The African-Americans were successful and later depicted in a state legislation barefooted and eating fried chicken. This scene is essentially saying that if African-Americans were given the same powers as white men, African-Americans would ruin the country. Griffith conceives America as made for the white man and that if black people gain some kind of power, America’s harmony will be

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