Anna Everett's Returning the Gaze Essay

Anna Everett's Returning the Gaze Essay

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For a long time, African American’s together with their culture were grossly marginalized and their literature attracted little attention from the mainstream film and literature industry. This led to the emergence of African American literature that championed for the social justice and equality in the country. It was a cry for recognition and the need for equality. The African American film criticism and commentaries were marginalized in both popular and scholarly histories and critical reevaluation as noted by Anna Everett in ‘Returning the Gaze’.
The exclusion of African American critics in the mainstream led to an explosion of black American press that curved its niche in response to this exclusion. The black press continued to expand, and its pages were filled with advertisements placing emphasis on the films and movie industries. The reaction and the impact made by these African American films was so great that even some of the white press and filmmakers took notice of the emerging market and involved themselves in selective commentary and critiques of the films.
The African American press in the film making industry was creating a market of its own against a trend where various films and press in the mainstream industry were portraying African Americans in a very negative way. At the same time, they were advancing and promoting the stereotypes held by whites towards African Americans.
‘The Birth of a Nation’ was a film produced and directed by D.W Griffith. This film exposed to a greater extent the deep racism that present during that time. In its content, The Birth of a Nation cast the African American people in a dangerously negative way by portraying black men as being unintelligent and aggressive towards women. This w...


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...her father.
This movie concentrates more on the freedom of mind and perception that not unless the black people liberate themselves from their way of thinking, the unrelenting forces of backwardness and poverty will always follow them.
In the film, the desire of a person was seen as a determinant of his/her success or the cause of his/her down fall. Louise due to her desire in hitting big in the music industry leads her in destroying her only chance of rising from poverty through Alvin. In the end, she hopelessly kills herself.



Works Cited

Everett, Anna. Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press, 2001. Print.
Robinson, Cedric J. Forgeries of Memory and Meaning: Blacks and the Regimes of Race in American Theater and Film Before World War Ii. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Print.

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