The Portrayal of Young Black Men in Hollywood Films Essay

The Portrayal of Young Black Men in Hollywood Films Essay

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The Portrayal of Young Black Men in Hollywood Films


Black Knight is a film starring Martin Lawrence which is a DreamWorks
production released in July 2002 by AOL Time Warner. DreamWorks and
AOL Time Warner are large companies that have achieved high levels of
recognition and status within the film industry. The fact it was
produced by two large companies connotes that it is a film with a
large budget so any special effects are likely to be impressive, and
have the ability to employ high budget actors/actresses which will
bring in bigger crowds.

The fact it is produced by a reputable company also means that the
film should not be discriminatory or prejudiced.

Black Knight is a text of the comedy genre but provides a mixed
representation of young black males, as it opposes the dominant
ideology yet also, eventually conforms to it. Martin Lawrence is shown
as different to everyone else repeatedly throughout the film, he is
then shown as the hero, but then this is taken away when he wakes up
and it was all a dream. This gives the impression that the only time
black people can actually be successful is in dreams.

The narrative follows Todorov's Narrative Theory and focuses around
Jamal (Martin Lawrence) who is employed in a menial job at a medieval
theme park. This is important as it shows black people to be employed
in jobs which take a low brain capacity.

Through a series of comedic events, Jamal falls into the moat while
reaching for a gold amulet. He is then transported by the amulet, back
into medieval times.

Jamal reaching for the gold amulet provides negative connotations as
it gives the impression that he is inc...


... middle of paper ...


... this age range are impressionable and there are many
subliminal messages given out in the duration of the films which could
be interpreted as racist.

The representation of black people in the film Black Knight are mainly
negative and even when Martin Lawrence's character is shown in a
positive way, it is only temporarily as he is then quickly shown in a
negative manner. The representation of women in the film is also
derogatory because they are shown simply as sex objects and play no
major role in the film except to seduce the men. Women were given no
positive moments in the film and this gives sexist connotations. The
lack of disabled characters in the film shows the attitude of
Hollywoodtowards the handicapped, the fact that they have no
representatives in the film shows that they are not considered
important.

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