Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Cinema, Movies, America, People, United States, Stereotypes, Race, African American

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/30

There is little doubt that African Americans have been showed in movies and generally in American cinema in discourses of white realism. However, when more and more black directors appeared, the stereotyped thinking and all the images that were detached to the African American community began to disappear. The one of the best examples of such case, is movie Bamboozled by Spike Lee. It is a dark satire on race depiction and integration. In this movie one can see the methods and ways where the dominant hegemonic hierarchy is capable of dividing and ruling those it subdues.
The disputes over race and representation of blacks in movies have been very controversial for generations. African American have in, most cases, been understood and branded, for centuries, as stirrer-up of troubles, misfits, not very intellectually developed, floppy and irrational, and hundreds of other labels that were attached to blacks. Such stigmas are linked not only to the colonization history, yet, significantly, to the exploitation, perpetuance, and thorough stereotype maintenance with the help of clichés. ('A Black Centered Analysis Of Bamboozled | By R.Phillips') However, there have been some films that started changing people’s mind about the African Americans. Starting with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasss Song, where the main character was black and the plot revolved around him. “There have been many later films in the same mould with, at their center were bad-ass black men” (Hall 271)
Thus, with the help of “writing-back” style in this movie, Lee mockingly attacks the way in which black people have been misunderstood and misrepresented in movies historically. One can find director’s effort to both show the true side of the African Americans and to entertain them as the movie is a comedy. Spike Lee wanted to educate people about the history of blacks and its representation in modern culture and society, with the help of the title of the movie “Bamboozled” which is the state of been cheated. “These films carried through one counter-strategy with considerable single-mindedness – reversing the evaluation of popular stereotypes.” (Hall 271) This movie presents American massive history of entertainment of racial discrimination with the help of abasing minstrel stereotypes.
Generally speaking, “Bamboozled” shows the simulation of a minstrel show in the context of contemporary time in the U.S. The Minstrel show is renewed to increase ratings and is recreated for family viewing, comparing to the popular genre in the United States – talk shows. Nevertheless, the irony present throughout is that ‘Mantan. The New Millennium Minstrel Show' is planned by its creator, Peerless Dothan, to be a prominent satire which would endowed to his quit from the oppressive television network where he works. However, the show so unveiled in its racism, that the idea of it being closed in such an enlightened time is silly. Spike Lee shows the characters in the minstrel show discovering their race-betrayal, yet the audience remain ignorant of the caricatures and stereotypes they are advocating and perpetuating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In this movie one can see the usage of alienation theory, the powerful system of depression forces the African American characters to leave their black soul and characteristics. Characters in “Bamboozled” are forced due to the bad economic conditions to generally sell themselves and to become senseless performing dolls. Both are “forsake” their real names and came up with 100% racist names “Sleep’n’Eat” and ‘Mantan’. Here one can find a great example of invisibility and low priority of black people. Alienation and white essentialist discourse makes such a situation where the “chosen one” - Delacroix and Sloan feels embarrassed by the “fellah” - Manray and Womack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The influence of stereotypes and “alienation” on African American identity makes people to have “a keen sense of knowledgeability about his or her different selves and how they are understood and represented.” Frequently, African Americans in Bamboozled have to “bargain” their identity. With the help of such actions, they unavoidably understood the “twoness of their identity” For instance, one of the main characters, Womack, got wise to that he will always Womack for instance realizes that he will always treat with disdain people from a second-class, regardless popular and successful he has become. He realizes the fact that he had been cheated to such an extent as hoping that he could be an equal citizen.
The faked advertisements in the movie about the clothing show not only neo-colonialism, but also the commoditization of African American by the hegemony. (Barlowe 1991, 10) Specifically Spike Lee criticizes a popular clothing brand “Tommy Hilfiger”. One can see in the movie an ad about “Timmy Hilniger Clothing”'. The director criticizes the company's horrible exploitation of the blacks’ identity.
Hence, one can cone to the conclusion that it is possible to observe that Bamboozled is a movie that completely breaks racial bounds and destroys stereotypes. Director, Spike Lee made an effort to break the previous image and stereotypes we have of African Americans, yet somehow, he doesn’t succeed and does the exact opposite. The author wanted to “substitute a range of “positive” images of black people, black life and culture for the “negative” imagery which continues to dominate popular representation” (Hall 272) While things have altered in the civil rights sphere, Spike Lee says that there is a lot of work in the future to confront the stereotyping of black people. As we can see in the movie, even easy-going irony and satire of the race can have serious results.

Work Cited

'A Black Centered Analysis Of Bamboozled | By R.Phillips'. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Feb. 2015.
Barlowe, Jamie. '“You Must Never Be A Misrepresented People”: Spike Lee’S Bamboozled'. Canadian Review of American Studies 33.1 (2003): 1-16. Web.
Hall, Stuart. The Spectacle Of The "Other". 2015. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 30) Stereotypes Essay Examples. Retrieved September 21, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stereotypes-essay-examples/
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"Stereotypes Essay Examples." WePapers, Oct 30, 2020. Accessed September 21, 2023. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stereotypes-essay-examples/
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Stereotypes Essay Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stereotypes-essay-examples/. Published Oct 30, 2020. Accessed September 21, 2023.

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