Test Notes, Week 5

Week 5: Hollywood & Racism

  • Race: a tool of conquest
  • a brief history of racism and slavery
  • How is racism manifested in popular culture?
  • Invisibility & marginalization
  • Epithets
  • Imitations
  • Stereotypes
  • Power dynamics
  • How is race a biological myth?  How is race a “social construct”?
  • Classified X“: Melvin Van Peebles two-part theory concerning the impact of Hollywood movies on racism in America  

Q: Why does racism exist?  What is its political/socioeconomic purpose?

Q: Name and discuss four to five manifestations of racism seen in popular culture.

Q: What is Van Peebles‘ (2 part) theory concerning the effects of stereotyping of the African-American in Hollywood motion pictures?  Discuss.

Q: How do marginalized people learn ‘internalized racism’ from popular culture manifestations of racism?

Q: Discuss racial stereotypes and the media, using Balkaran, Wilson, and Van Peebles for support.   Give examples of stereotypes of various cultural groups.

Q: In what way is race a biological myth?  Who benefits from the idea of race?  Why?

Q: Which epic movie always gets blamed for being the first racist film?

Q: What was the first blockbuster “talkie” picture?  What racist technique did its star use?

Q: Discuss Van Peebles‘ descriptions of the various eras of blacks in films.  

Also: REEVES’ FIFTH LECTURE: “Racism: Tool of Conquest, Biological Myth”