Birth Of A Nation : The Civil War Essay

Birth Of A Nation : The Civil War Essay

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In the movie Birth of a Nation, the first half of the story is based off the Civil War, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. The movie is divided into two parts, Pre-Civil War America and Reconstruction. After covering the Civil War, the story starts to introduce the Southern Camerons and Northern Stonemans. Birth of a Nation is told from the perspectives of these two families. The rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and Reconstruction is introduced in the second half. In the second half of the movie, racism becomes more apparent.
The nation is torn apart, and African Americans are blamed for this complication, after the Civil War African Americans migrated to the South, and clashing with the North. There was major effects on the South after the war. Many suffered from starvation, cities were ruined, and farms were destroyed. On top of all the failures in the South, the economy started to fall as well. The South needed to be restored, and laws were in process. The congress wanted to protect the blacks, which angered the whites. The relationship between African Americans and whites, was not positive. There was a scene with white children pretending to be ghosts to scare the black children.
Birth of a Nation both conveys and enacts racist thought. In the film, white actors painted their faces black to portray African American characters. There were no African American leads, because when the film was made blacks were not allowed to be actors. If there were any black actors, they were either minor characters or extras, who were often in the background picking cotton. African Americans in the movie were not portrayed in a positive light. African American men were portrayed as sexual predators towards white women, and the portrayal of lacking in...


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...e. As a result to African American unhappy response, riots and protests broke out. The NAACP organized an unsuccessful campaign to ban the film. Birth of a Nation is a historically important movie, because of its portrayal of African Americans in movies. It teaches viewers about the Civil War, and the aftermath from Reconstruction. Birth of a Nation was a racist film, and it could be concluded that this is they way that white people viewed African Americans during this time, still in today’s history. African Americans wanted to take over the South and gain their freedom, but most of the actors in the film were still portrayed as servants. Blacks valued their freedom, but the portrayal of the film did not seem that way to viewers. D. W. Griffith displayed African Americans gaining some sort of power, but in his portrayal he made them seem powerless, and uneducated.

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