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Representations of Blackness in Popular Culture: Film

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Emanuela Bringi

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Representations of Blackness in Popular Culture: Film

Quote "black people have a deep seated concern with their history of being stereotyped in Hollywood films, a concern that provides an important reason to be skeptical about any concept of black cinema that would include works that demean blacks" (p.24) "A No-Theory Theory of Contemporary Black Cinema" *What does Black Cinema mean to you?
*Madea
*Django Unchained
*Written by blacks for blacks
*About blacks written by whites The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Aesthetic The proclamation of beauty in black film Thesis "Indeed the definition of black cinema is a problem by virtue of the fact that, whether it is based on biological or cultural criteria, its viability can easily be called into question" (p.27) Question Emanuela Bringi Representations of Blackness: Film Blaxploitation Exploitation of blacks in film
Movies that fail to represent the black culture properly Can a film count as a black cinema when it merely presents a black face version of white films, or when it merely reproduces stereotypical images of black people? (p. 25) Du Bois "The problem stems from the fact that there is no agreement about how best to define a black person, although there is some sense in which we all operate with some ideas about what constitutes black identity" (p.27) The Oppositional Gaze what does the term "gaze" imply? Gaze *The way black people are threatened
*Slavery
*slave master would threat beat or lynch a slave if they were giving the wrong kind of stare or look.
*Threat to black women
*The production companies, owned by white people Black Womenhood
"Most black women... never went into the movies expecting to see compelling representations of black femaleness"(p. 33)

"Major early black independent filmmakers represented black women in their films as objects of male gaze" (p.33)

"Black female spectaors have had to develop looking relations within a cinematic context that constructs our presence as absence, that denies the "body" of the black female to perpetuate white supremacy and with it a phallocentric spectatorship where the women to be looked at and desired is "white". (p.33)

"resented the way these screen images could assault black womenhood" (p.34) White Male Gaze Question?? "The power of black women to make films will be threatened and undermined by the white male gaze...where the only relative opposition is male/female, and the only location for a female is as a victim"

"The gaze has been and is a site of resistance for colonized black people globally" (p.32) Do you think that black filmmakers today are still submissive toward the white male gaze? Why? How?
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