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Introduction to African American Studies - Essay Example

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Introduction to African American Studies: Two Essay Questions Devote at least two (2) typed pages, double-spaced, to each question. 2) In the movie American History X, Danny extracts the following passage from Lincoln’s speech: “We are not enemies, but friends…
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Download file to see previous pages In the movie American History X, the speech Danny makes at the end—in which he quotes Abraham Lincoln—is significant for several reasons. Derek and Danny were both members of Aryan white supremacy groups; Derek suffered violence at the hands of other prisoners due to his friendship with a Black inmate; and Danny was killed by a student like himself, a Black young man with whom he had had an altercation the day before. Derek had not wanted his younger brother Danny to engage in the same kind of senseless violence which characterized the very reason Derek was in prison. When two Black men vandalized Derek’s truck—the only possession left to Derek by his father, who was also a target of Black-on-white crime—Derek killed one man and severely injured the other. That notwithstanding, Derek was sentenced to be incarcerated for a period of a few years and came out of jail wanting his younger brother not to follow in his footsteps. Derek and Danny, at this stage of the movie, definitely do not consider Black people to be their friends in any respect. Nay, they are enemies—people who are to be feared and regarded in low esteem based solely on the fact that one side is white and the other Black—a most denigrating feeling perpetuated by these two brothers. In jail, Derek’s friend Lamont—who happened to be Black—became Derek’s best friend while in jail. ...
This helps Derek realize that it is not the color of one’s skin, but the content of one’s character, that makes a person what he or she is. Once he realizes this, he fears it may be all but too little too late for his dear brother Danny, who takes a similar road he did. The question is,will Derek be able to save his brother the same or similar fate he experienced? Derek now realizes that, since his prior thinking was wrong, he must do something to set things aright now that he is getting paroled from prison. Meanwhile, Danny takes a personalized, private history course—an idea of Dr. Sweeney’s after Danny does a paper on Hitler’s Mein Kampf as an apologetical work—“American History X” being the name of the class, which is supposed to be a substitute for the other history class in which he was doing very poorly. Unfortunately, just as Derek himself did, Danny found himself in a confrontation with a young Black man over a prior argument or beef. This young man proves to be Danny’s enemy—and his realization of his morally reprehensible, wrong, racist attitudes of the past are ones which he no longer agrees with—unfortunately, too late. The idea that both Blacks and whites should be friends, not enemies, is the point that Lincoln the abolitionist, our 16th President, was trying to drive home. Lincoln’s ideology flew in the face of the white supremacy that devoured Derek and Danny’s lives; Lincoln saw the potential for friendships containing individuals of both races; and Lincoln knew the destructive ends of hate, which no one should hopefully have to experience in one’s lifetime. 5) In the essay, “Toward a Theory of Popular ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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