How are African -Americans Represented on the Screen and in the Media - Essay Example

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Topic:  How are African -Americans represented on the screen and in the media? Media and movies have a powerful influence in shaping identity of communities inn America. The identity of black community and their attitude concerning social reality was always formed by the representation of them in movies and media…
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How are African -Americans Represented on the Screen and in the Media
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Download file to see previous pages African Americans have achieved prominence in many fields in American, still the media for racial and psycho – political reasons; have historically failed to project a balanced perspective of the Black experience. Mainstream media has systematically under – represented African Americans in genre outside sports, music and comedy and over represented Blacks as criminal or indigents. It shows that Blacks are takers and burden for the society. The news media of America rarely publicize Black’s contribution to American serious business, making their image appear that of an irresponsible community. Television news tend to illustrate welfare and poverty by portraying urban Black rather than rural whites. As per (Entman 59)“In its reporting on poverty, television paints a Bosch- like – landscape of social disruption and danger in which the principal actors, mainly Black, are visually associated with poverty as threat”. In earlier movies, African Americans were depicted as slaves and servants. Politically Blacks are depicted as sources of disruption, as victims, or as complaining supplicants. American belief about Black is based on what they observe in movies, television, dramas, newspaper, radio and other medias. Sadly, media elites may have some incentive to represent Black in negative terms. They want to appeal white and to entertain them showing their privilege and white dominion in the society. In his book (Covington 98)writes that ,“Across a whole range of media, the Black people are held responsible for their won poverty and violence because their under value class cause their self – defeating behaviors”. Even the black women characters in many films get implicated in the violence of males, especially the black single mothers who raise their sons alone. Films depict black single mothers as incapable of raising children, thereby blaming them for the poverty and violence that pervades underclass communities. Movies represent black women as hedonistic and oversexed and routinely cast them as drug addicts and prostitutes. Clearly crime also has increasingly become a way to talk about race differences in Hollywood, political campaigns and news media. In his journal (Balkaran ) mentions that ,“ As a result of the overwhelming media focus on crime, drug use, gang violence, and other forms of anti-social behavior among African-Americans, the media have fostered a distorted and pernicious public perception of African-Americans”. Black males are constantly portrayed as dangerous and assaulting and killing each other in gang fights or brawls as a way of achieving manhood. Black woman also have long been represented as masculinized in media and films. As per (Murarka) “African Americans portrayals in the media are often times based on negative stereotypes they do not accurately portray reality”. According to (Hall 90)“Media has portrayed African American men as violent, menacing, and dangerous, often time having very dark skin and overly exaggerated”. This is kind of color representation of African males enhances negative evaluation on all the African American males. The media and films have always socially alienated African Americans throughout American history. Media consistently shows Black American youth as gang bangers, drug dealers, misogynists and gold wearing criminal misfits. In 1980s television ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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