African American Perception Essay

African American Perception Essay

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The perception of racism towards African Americans in the United States is shown through both current American novels and films. Nearly every novel and film made today portrays a sense of racism towards African Americans and continually has the African American gangster and the white man hero. Unfortunately, many African Americans are categorized compared to whites as less qualified, educated and trustworthy. More specifically, the novel Southland acknowledged a different racial perception of jobs towards whites and people of color in relation to being a police officer. White people are continually represented as the proper, social and economical power by what jobs they are given and the actions they take. Different novels, films and critical readings demonstrate how African Americans are portrayed inadequately in relation to whites due to the jobs and characteristics that continually lead to becoming the villain.
In the novel Southland, the two main police officers during the investigation are Nick Lawson and Robert Thomas is who are in charge of finding out the truth of the murders of the four African Americans in the freezer. Lawson, the white police officer, is assumed the murderer because he is white and the children are black but in actuality, the black police officer Thomas ends up being the villain. Lanier “couldn’t fathom that this man, that any black man, would commit such an act against children… the murderers were even worse, somehow, because Thomas had committed them”(Southland, 316). This is important because the idea that whites and African Americans are trying to become less segregated in real life are being portrayed as back-stabbing villains who are killing people of their own race to fend for themselves. The i...

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...hed by: Sage Publications, Inc.
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Black Cities/White Cities: Evaluating the Police
Susan E. Howell, Huey L. Perry, Matthew Vile
Political Behavior
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp. 45-68
Published by: Springer
Stable URL:

Revoyr, Nina. Southland. New York, NY: Akashic
Books, 2003. Print.

Ayer, David, Script. Training Day. Dir. Antoine Fuqua." Warner Bros: 2001, Film.

El Mariachi: Hybrid Exploitation Film
Charles Ramirez Berg
Latino Images in Film; Stereotypes, Subversion, Resistance
2002, pp-225-239

Toward Understanding
Gerald Horne
Fire this Time; The Watts Uprising and the 1960s
Published by: University Press of Virginia
1995, pp 23-42

Racial Formations
Michael Omi and Harold Winant
Racial Formations in the United States
Second Edition, pp 13-18

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