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African History Film Response Film Review

… At the heart of the film is the way that history has rewritten the events of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in Congo. King Leopold has been written by some historians as a benevolent man whose intentions were purer than those of other imperialists. Christian historians in particular have helped elevate his reputation beyond the reproaches of truthful history and instead celebrate him as an icon, as an individual who tried to spread their version of the word of God to those who were ignorant of it before. If he happened to make money because of the resources available in Congo, then that was a nice addition, but that this was not the focus of the colonial expansion. Obviously, this is the complete…. [read more]

African-American in the Media Term Paper

… I believe that language such as defined in the work by Bogle is extremely derogatory and harmful towards those of African descent. This is especially true since there are no equivalent terms to describe White performers or White people in similar positions. Terms such as "Coon" do tend demonstrate that the person using these terms is racist. It is also unfortunate that even in today's enlightened times, the ideas spawned by the above-mentioned terms continue to pervade Western thinking, and especially White racist thinking.

Bogle suggests that Black actors playing these stereotypes managed to overcome both racism and stereotyping by bringing pleasure to both Black and White audiences. This appears to be true when one considers the many African-Americans in the media who are being…. [read more]

Amistad Historical Movies Movie Review

… Amistad

Historical movies find themselves in a precarious situation; they strive for historical accuracy while creating an entertaining film that viewers and critics will enjoy. In this regard, Amistad is no different from any other historical movie. It takes dramatic liberties for entertainment value in order for the audience (the American moviegoer) to be able to relate with the movie. These liberties are not necessarily detrimental, as they capture the emotions that the Africans must have felt throughout their ordeal. The beginning scenes abroad La Amistad displayed the horrors and brutality of the "Middle Passage" and the Atlantic Slave trade. However, there are other scenes in the film that sole purpose is to evoke an emotion from the viewer, such as Cinque's now famous line…. [read more]

Django Unchained as a Screenwriter Film Review

… One strong aspect of the film revolves around the way in which Tarantino is able to present a portrait of slavery that both indicts it and portrays the absurdity of slavery as well. It is this duality that allows it to actually make a clean condemnation of this historical practice, without seeming preachy: instead, the film appears clever. A clear example of this duality is the scene where the KKK members congregate for further wrong-doings and then moan and groan about the difficulty of seeing well from the holes cut into their hoods. A scene like this, as cleverly and wittily written as it is, does bring to mind the sheer possibility to every spectator, that such a conversation could have actually happened during the…. [read more]

Ken Burns' Documentary: The National Term Paper

… The superintendent of the Death Valley National Park shows enthusiasm for having kids come to the park to learn. The film shows kids descending into the crater that is Death Valley's lowest point. "Suddenly you're in a wide-open expanse," the park ranger explains, "and away from everything." Taking city kids to the country is one thing, but taking kids from the glitter and glamour of Las Vegas to Death Valley, is another thing entirely. Some people would object to having kids walking down into the crater; after all, it is dangerous. But the teacher saw their faces after they climbed back up and clearly they were jolted with a positive natural force that they won't soon forget. The kids from Las Vegas also put up…. [read more]

African Studies and Multiculturalism Term Paper

… African Studies and Multiculturalism

An article by Mineke Schipper, titled "Knowledge is like an ocean: insiders, outsiders, and the academy," has as its focus the discussion the "unequal power relations that persist" between Africa and the Western world. The piece, published in Research in African Literatures, also points to the fact that African scholars who wish to participate in the discussion vis-a-vis those "power relations" are for the most part shut out due to "a continued marginalization and inequality in access to information and dialogue."

Schipper uses several analogies to make the point that "various kinds of people" have been kept out of sciences and also kept "outside the boundaries of 'civilized mankind.'" And in the process of making the point that Africans, in particular,…. [read more]

History of Muslims in Europe and in the US Research Paper

… History of Muslims in Europe and in the U.S.

Islamophobia - the United States and the European continent

The Islam is at the moment one of the most important religious, cultural, and eventually political entities of the world today. According to studies made in 2009, it represents 23% of the global population of 6.9 billion people

Even so, there are numerous accounts in which the Muslim population is the subject of discrimination or political differentiation. At the moment, this entire phenomenon is defined as Islamophobia. The present paper addresses the issue of islamophobia from the perspective of the two most important regions where it developed and where is most visible. In this sense, the research takes into account the way in which the United States…. [read more]

Birth of a Nation: Epic Storytelling Research Paper

… Birth of a Nation: Epic Storytelling or Historical Blight?

Griffith's the Birth of a Nation may be the most divisive film in the history of American film-making. On the one hand, its overt racist message was so inflammatory that, even at the time of its release, people protested its message. The Ku Klux Klan saw an increase in membership after the release of the movie and continues to use it to recruit new members in modern times. Therefore, it is impossible to ignore the racism in the film and the impact that it had on American culture. At the same time, from the perspective of innovation in the film industry, the film is considered ground-breaking. Griffith incorporated a number of new elements into the film,…. [read more]

Hollywood Does Not Glorify Criminal Behavior Research Paper

… Hollywood movies do not glorify criminal behavior. On the contrary, the industry glorifies the hero and stigmatizes the criminal for his behavior and crimes against society. American gangster movies' initial depictions of criminals were at first a sordid fascination, as exemplified by the film noir genre in Hollywood during the late 1940s and into the early 1960s. In the 1970s, the black exploitation films depicted black gangsters who were pimps, robbers and criminals involved with gangs and drugs (Stanfield, 281). The 1990s Hollywood black "hood" movies was an example of how black commercial cinema attempted to get into the mass market, but then perpetuated criminal stereotypes of young Black men involved with gangs and rap music stardom (Murby, 263). Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola and…. [read more]

Crime Film Thesis

… Crime Films, Stereotyping and Xenophobic Characters

The two motion pictures called "Scarface" that are critiqued in this paper certainly have the same title and embrace the same themes of power, arrogance, gruesome bloodshed and gangster corruption. But when it comes to the characters, settings, editing, dialogue, narrative logic, and sociological substance, the two films are as far apart as Miami is from the moon. Howard Hawks' Scarface is dripping with blood and with xenophobic characterizations that are, in retrospect, insulting and demeaning to Italian immigrants. It may not have been Hawks' intention to create a film that viciously mocks Italians at every turn, but in 2009, that's what the film projects. In fairness, the United States in 1932 was in the grip of the Depression…. [read more]

Blade Runner: A Marriage Essay

… Because replicants were not human, albeit they were perfect human substitutes, it was considered acceptable in this society to enslave them because it was believed that replicants were not capable of feeling emotions.

This segregation between man and machine ultimately leads to a schism within society with the conflict subsequently leading to rebellion. One of the main reasons that the replicants rebel against humans is because they have been oppressed; not only are they slaves, but they are also not allowed to cohabitate with humans on Earth with their mere presence on the planet being considered illegal. However, had the replicants not rebelled, there would have been no need to organize blade runner units to quell the rebellion. Oddly enough, the line between man and…. [read more]

Film Spartacus, Its Historical Term Paper

… S. government action against communist rebels in Vietnam, its cold-shouldering of Russia, and its continued economic embargo against Cuba).

This can often be seen to happen, that Hollywood acts as a buffer between U.S. government policy and the American people: films have been shown for decades about U.S. involvement in Colombia, for example, where the U.S. regularly sends undercover troops to fight against drugs: films are made that show U.S. foreign policy in action (XXX recently); they are usually made to have a happy ending for the U.S., so that the American people then feel more comfortable that the actions of their government against a country are commendable and to be supported (even if the U.S. government's action, such as large-scale spraying of insecticides, in…. [read more]

Darwin's Nightmare Ultimately, the Story Research Proposal

… ¶ … Darwin's Nightmare

Ultimately, the story of any region in terms of human history comes down to the history of the different individuals who occupy the region. This is what struck me the most about the film Darwin's Nightmare; whatever the larger forces at work seemed to be, in reality the causes and effects of all of the various situations that the documentary records are concerned with individuals who allow -- or who cannot stop -- these things from happening. From the Russian pilots to the Tanzanian prostitutes that "keep them company" to the peasants forced to survive on half-rotten fried fish heads, these are the individuals that are important to this area of Africa, and these are the individuals who must deal with…. [read more]

Movie Amazing Grace 2007 Essay

… ¶ … Pertinence of the film "Amazing Grace"

The 19th century brought with it a period of progressive enlightenment. The intellectual, philosophical and social developments of the previous decade, and particularly the battle for independence and self-determination waged by the peoples of places like the United States and France, had helped to change ideology and policy development throughout the world. The British Empire would be an important part of this transition, both as the center for change-resistant traditionalism and for what might be regarded by some as radical cultural transformation. The issue of the slave-trade of enslavement would be perhaps the most pressing and hotly contested issue of the time, with an old guard of parliamentary Britons insisting on the importance and the ethical justification…. [read more]

Film Analysis of the Believer Essay

… A certain aspect of peer pressure also afflicts Balint, as his group of friends and fellow fascists begin upping the stakes in their personal war on non-whites and other targeted groups. It is likely that Balint provokes fights against African-Americans and Jews in an attempt to confirm his own bigoted belief system, and to ingratiate himself within the group.

- Who does the protagonist "blame" for the world's troubles?

Balint expresses a worldview similar to other racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the original Nazi party, one which ascribes the totality of blame for the current state of world affairs on the Jewish people. According to Balint's anti-Semitic philosophy, Jews maintain a firm grip on global financial markets and media outlets, using…. [read more]

African-American Fixation and Modern Superiority Term Paper

… Many see sports as a good exit out of poverty and dumps. Even the poorest of individuals play sports such as football and basketball. A good number of high school dropouts' caused by inequalities in the school system would eventually increase the level of poverty. Hence those who are talented in their sports use it as a way to enter a much better financial class.

Besides the Black Americans, many White Americans are also good in the profession of sports. They exemplify in weight lifting and wrestling mainly because of their better torsos. Both Blacks and White are equally good in their sport's career but since sports is a passion to the Blacks they are more dedicated (Jon Entine. Debate and Chat).

Jesse Jackson once…. [read more]

Cool Jazz a Brief History Research Paper

… Brubeck was furious. Brubeck recruited another sax player and his new group was soon playing to critical success. Desmond returned to San Francisco, seeking reconciliation with his former band mate and friend. Encouraged by his family, Brubeck eventually made peace with Desmond and the two went on to collaborate with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, an immensely popular jazz group that enjoyed international acclaim for the next sixteen years (NPR). In a 1952 article for Downbeat, jazz critic Nat Hentoff credited Desmond for much of the Quartet's success, calling Desmond's alto playing both rhythmic and lyrical.

Desmond was a difficult man to get to know. Friend and biographer Doug Ramsey wrote that even Desmond's ex-wife, Duane Desmond Kaye, was virtually unknown to all but his inner…. [read more]

American Involvement in the Sudan Civil War Resolution Term Paper

… Sudan -- American Involvement in Civil War Resolution

The resent past has seen violence and heartbreak in the African nation of Sudan, and in order to avoid the bloodshed of another major civil war between the North and the South, the United Nations, with involvement from the United States, has intervened. What has the United States' involvement been with reference to this matter? This paper will explore the ways in which the U.S. has been involved in the Darfur / Sudan issues, and will flush out reasons why the U.S. should be involved and how the U.S. got involved in this crisis.

Background on Sudan

The African country of Sudan is the largest country in Africa (2.5 million square miles) and Sudan is just about…. [read more]

O Brother, Where Art Thou? Thesis

… The irony of the Coens' career is that, out of the marginalized business of "independent" filmmaking, they have so often striven to re-create such period pieces of the golden age of Hollywood's studios. Although Peter Biskind points to the Coens as an example of the larger symbiotic relationship that exists between "independent" filmmaking and Hollywood studio filmmaking, in the way that independent filmmaking "emerges at the bottom to inject new vitality into the system: the Oliver Stones and Coen Brothers of the 80s, the Quentin Tarantinos and Atom Egoyans of the 90s" (Biskind 429), the fact remains that the Coens seem most influenced by Hollywood product that was not independent in the first place, and represented in many cases the quickest cheapest sort of commercial…. [read more]

Malcolm X: Director Spike Lee Essay

… It also implies that there could be no real basis for a black-white relationship other than lust and curiosity (Bell, 1993). In the beach scene, Malcolm tells Sophia, "I wish your mother and father could see us now." The relationship is clearly about defying society's rules; there is no real affection between the couple.

In one of the final scenes of the first part of the film, Malcolm and a friend are shown breaking and entering. Lee makes the scene comic by showing Malcolm vainly struggling to pull a ring off the finger of a man slumbering next to his wife. There is almost a sweetness about Washington's Malcolm in this scene and we nearly forget that we are witnessing a crime. The "profoundly flawed"…. [read more]

Effects of Slavery on African Americans Today Term Paper

… African-Americans

The history of African-Americans concerns the story of a group of people who were displaced from their different homelands and struggled through great adversity to adapt to their new "homes" and redefine their traditions and culture. Since arriving in North America, their dreams, thoughts, hopes and actions became responsible for some of the most profound economic, political, and cultural developments in the modern Western world. Black resistance slowly destroyed the political and economic system of slavery and created new forms of democracy and equality for all people of color and women. Black creativity influenced all forms of Western art, music, dance and theater.

Black intellectualism looked at various forms of scholarship in entirely different ways to establish new methodologies and approaches.

In the 1700s,…. [read more]

zombies family structure and the romero trilogy Essay

… Throughout Night of the Living Dead, both Harry and Helen and Tom and Judy remain intact couples, all bitten together and none put into the precarious position of needing to destroy their significant other's reanimated corpse.

The third film in the trilogy, Day of the Dead, explores the radical concept of the potential to "train" zombies, keeping them as a sort of pet. Pets in American society are family members, and Bub is in fact Dr. Logan's pet project. His keeping of Bud and diligent feeding and training of Bud means that Dr. Logan becomes the Dr. Frankenstein to his monster, his Bub. Dr. Logan tries to impose the patriarchal family structure in which the father is progenitor and dominating authoritarian figure. He has the…. [read more]

Humor and Violence in U.S. Literature and Society Research Proposal

… Humor and Violence in U.S. Literature and Society

Humor and violence would seem to go together about as well as onions and peanut butter. However considering that both humor and violence are two of the most popular genres of literature, movies and television in the United States, it only makes sense that combining the two would be twice as popular. Humor and violence have always been best-selling products, and, most people from around the world are aware that the American society has benefited greatly from exploiting the two. It is surprising how people can enjoy the presence of violence in their everyday lives, reading books that involve violence and watching movies that show a degrading part of their society. It is virtually impossible for one…. [read more]

Last of the Mohicians James Book Review

… The film was originally entitled The Clansman, was incredibly popular, and broke a number of box office records. However, it caused a great deal of controversy in its depiction of African-Americans, the institution of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and race relations during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Griffith was not operating out of a vaccuum, however, the movie used a 1905 novel by Thomas Dixon as source material. In both the novel and the movie, slavery is depicted as kindly and benign, and the lack of State's rights and the ability to mange their own economic system nothing more than a plot by northern Republicans to control the nation. In fact, the Klan is shown to be heroic, trying in vain to restore the…. [read more]

Race in Early Television Programming Term Paper

… The stylistic differences between Beulah's shots on the one hand, and the more elaborately staged white family scenes into which they are cut on the other, created an acute sense of textual disintegration (Caldwell 48).

There was enough controversy surrounding the show to keep it on the air for three years, but when it went off the air, another female black woman would not lead a prime-time television show until 1968, when Dianne Carroll starred in "Julia."

At first glance, "Julia" seems far different from "Beulah." Julia was a professional woman (a nurse), raising a son alone. However, if Beulah was too black, then Julia tipped the scales in the other direction. To fit in prime-time television with a still largely white audience, Julia became…. [read more]

Black Films as a Reflection of the Progress of African-American Culture Essay

… Black Films as a Reflection of the Progress of African-American Society

From the first African slave to set foot on American soil, to the election of Barack Obama, there has been a tremendous metamorphosis of the African-American community's stature within the culture of the United States. Where Within Our Gates provided one of the first proverbial dips into the waters of African-American's being able to express their genuine opinions, films such as Do the Right Thing and Shaft were vibrant expressions of passion and rage that pulled no punches. This dramatic change did not happen overnight, and to illustrate this, this paper will utilize films from the black film canon that individually signify the gradual steps African-Americans took to improve their social standing in the…. [read more]

Diversity in Today's Society Research Paper

… Blackface: The Use of Whites to Portray Non-Whites in Popular Culture

As cultural norms have evolved, one of the most interesting things that minority groups have done is to reclaim things that have typically been evocative of racial stereotypes and use them for empowerment. There are many examples in popular culture, with perhaps the most obvious and controversial one being the reclamation of the word "nigger" by African-Americans in certain forms of popular culture, particularly hip-hop music. What is seen as liberating to some is seen as continuation of centuries of racial subjugation by others, so that the African-American community is starkly divided about that issue. Not all vestiges of racist practices are considered quite as offensive and controversial in modern times. However, one that…. [read more]

Harlem Renissance and Negritude Writers the History Term Paper

… Harlem Renissance and Negritude Writers

The history of the African continent has been a long series of tormenting events. Some of the most important aspects that have defined and influenced its evolution however, are in strict connection with the era of colonialism and the effects this period had on the people living in Africa.

The Black population coming from the continent was constantly perceived as an inferior race and was subjected to intense racial discrimination in the societies it came in contact with. In response to such attitudes, there were numerous movements which advocated an emancipation of the Black race and a rediscovery of their heritage. At the same time, initiatives such as the Harlem Renaissance and the Negritude constantly tried to reach out to…. [read more]

Oscar Micheaux's 1920 Motion Picture Essay

… ¶ … Oscar Micheaux's 1920 motion picture "Within Our Gates" provides a complex perspective concerning racism in the U.S. during the early twentieth century. The film is successful in emphasizing the importance of thinking objectively and it is meant to influence individuals in taking on a positive attitude regarding other members of the social order. In spite of the fact that the director is obviously well-intended and refrains from discriminating against white people, it appears that he exaggerated conditions in African-American communities with the purpose of uplifting their image. He uses religion as one of the primary tools assisting him in achieving success, as he acknowledged the fact that people in the U.S. were severely influenced by their determination to be religious.

One of the…. [read more]

Relating Course Material to Civil Rights Movement Term Paper

… This is clearly a result of the success and hard work of the civil rights movement.

Thus, this paper has looked at the uniqueness of the black civil rights movement of the 1960s, and the remarkable factors which influenced it, making it as distinct as it was. As Turner's book reflects higher education was a primal and motivating factor within the civil rights movement, and it strongly empowered the African-American student body at the time, causing them to organize and take action. As Giovanni's collection of poems suggests, part of the change that characterized this movement was marked by a greater sense of perspective and understanding of the past. Finally, the remarkable film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was able to aptly take the temperature…. [read more]

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