African American dancers not only struggle with the racism of society in general. They also struggle with the divisions within the African American community, based on skin color. Historically the African American community has experienced racism based on how dark or how fair their skin is, beginning with the division of labor during slavery, continuing in theatre, then film, and extending to academia with fair-skinned African Americans being given additional access to mainstream education, employment, and social activities. Although colorism focuses on skin color, the concept includes facial expressions and hair texture. The embodiment of a Eurocentric aesthetic is an understood goal for many within the dance
There’s nothing more invigorating as a dancer when it comes to competitions. The adrenaline coursing through your veins, the excitement exuding out your face, and those last, anxious footsteps entering the stage – it’s truly a one of a kind feeling. That is why being a part of these competitions (and many I must say), you begin to experience another type of culture – a culture that we all see today: Hip Hop. These competitions, primarily held in Southern California, bring in Hip Hop teams far and wide and form together what we call today – the Dance Community of SoCal. Although the teams change and the venues vary, the Dance Community of SoCal tends to follow the same trend.
In his documentary Ethnic Notions producer Marlon Riggs examines the extent that African Americans have been characterized in white American society since slavery and how that has come to shape our culture today. He examines various Jim Crow imagery in a number of different decades attempting to show how African Americans have been portrayed to fit the needs of White America during their particular time. One such example is the emergence of minstrel shows and the black face performances occurring within them used for the purpose of not only entertainment but also to perpetuated to the idea of white supremacy.
...in an Antiblack World" Multicultural Film: an Anthology Spring/Summer 2011. By Kathrin K. Cashin and Stacy L. Tanner. Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Pub., 2011. 169-175. Print.
Dance is a type of sport that usually involves movement of the body, often carried out to different types of music depending on the style. Dance is practiced in many cultures as a form of expression or social relations in a spiritual or performance setting, and is even used to express certain beliefs and ideas. Dance does not have traceable roots and it is not possible to say when exactly dance became a part of culture, but historical evidence shows that dance has been an important aspect of rituals, services, revels, and entertainment since the ancient developments. Since dance was discovered, it has become prevalent. Many different forms and styles of dance are used all around the world today including ballet, swing, hip-hop, and even the tango and salsa.
Ethnic Notions is a 1987 documentary directed by Marlon Riggs and narrated by Esther Rolle. It discusses the anti-Black stereotypes that permeated popular culture from the ante-bellum period and into the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Ethnic Notions shows its audience a disturbing part of American history, that still permeates our society today. It shows the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled anti-Black prejudice.It describes a number of common stereotypes and how they were depicted as characters in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, folklore, household artifacts, and children's rhymes.
“Racism occurs in explicit forms…[and] is also commonly and indirectly present through prejudiced attitudes, lack of recognition of cultural diversity and culturally biased practices” (Brice). Susan stated that when she was younger there was a boy that told her she “deserved to be deaf” solely because she was black. The magnitude of a statement such as that is mind blowing. Prejudice and racism are still, embarrassingly, prevalent in today’s society. However, a symbolic interactionist view on prejudice is that if groups of people are seen as equals and are held to the same standards, then stereotyping is heavily reduced (Kendall
There is a fine line between admiration of one's own culture and contempt for those who are different. Where is the line drawn between pride and prejudice? A society will always feel as though their system of beliefs and way of life is superior and opposing culture are lacking in dignity. In "Blue Winds Dancing" Tom Whitecloud's unnamed character is at that crossroad in his life. Is his Indian culture truly inferior to that of the White man; is his honor to not drift away from his own culture leading to prejudice for the White man?
Black theater is a subversive art form that creates a spectacle of humanity. Theatrical performances are able to combine the mind and body, two elements of the human that are assumed to be kept separate. Written ideas that are spawned from the mind are displayed through physical movement and emotional dialogue. My research paper will explore the aesthetics of black theater in the midst of double-consciousness. Many black drama critics argue that the Black Theater Movement lacked authenticity due to the white foundation it was built upon. In order to examine this argument, I will explain the history of black theater starting with the Harlem Renaissance. The movement responded to the call for new elements in Western theater. At the time, drama
One of the more prevailing issues in America is racism, and although things have changed over time, racial tension continues to be a major dispute. To instill change, we can express ourselves in many ways, such as creating music, art, or films. With cinematography, the oppressed can reach a large audience with their struggles, which promotes the influence of education, hopefully leading to change. In the film, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, we are shown the forbidden love story of Ali and Emmi, and how the disparity between the Germans and the Arabs affects their relationship. And in the film, Black Girl, we follow a Senegalese woman and her journey from freedom to confinement as a nanny for a wealthy French family. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul and Black Girl both explore racism on a larger scale