The Portrayal Of African American Families Essay

The Portrayal Of African American Families Essay

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The portrayal of African American families has changed drastically since the 1950s. The media’s wide representation of African American families has varied from television and literature. The families differ in economic classes, generational differences and their sense of cultural heritage. Literary works such as Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Alice Walker’s Everyday Use depiction of families differs from television’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Blackish. Although they are all African American families, they each face different problems with society. They also face different stereotypes and family structures. The period in time that each piece of work was made had a considerable impact on them.
During the 1950s and 60s when A Raisin in the Sun was written the Civil Rights Movement and Social Reform were beginning. Civil Rights groups called for an end to segregation, they wanted equality in education, housing and employment opportunities.
This had a significant effect on A Raisin in the Sun because of the way it shaped each character. There were very little employment opportunities for African Americans that provided financial stability. In the story Walter Younger who was the head of the household was constantly trying to figure out a way that he could get rich quickly to be able to provide for family. He worked as a chauffeur for a white man and had no opportunities for career advancement. That led him to try to open a liquor store with the insurance money his family was going to receive from the death of his father. The Civil Rights Movement also influenced another character from the story Beneatha Younger. Beneatha was an intellectual young adult that was attending college. A Raisin in the Sun addressed m...


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...f each story. The Pre-Civil Rights movement impacted A Raisin in the Sun, the Civil Rights Movement effected Everyday Use and the post Civil Rights Movement influenced The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Blackish vastly. Each family had different opportunities in life because of the laws passed during or before their time. The educational opportunities each family provided their income. In A Raisin in the Sun and Everyday Use, the head member of the family received little to no education and that was why the families were so poor. So once the Civil Rights Movement started and more opportunities were provided for African Americans, literature and media started to depict this change. This is why the families from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Blackish are more successful, they were given more opportunities to succeed because of what occurred in history.

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