Toni Morrison and bell hooks: Fighting for Truth
In a society where harsh generalization and inaccurate stereotypes of African-Americans are present in everyday life, two authors have attempted to try and make a change in the way whites perceive blacks. In conversations with Toni Morrison and essays written by bell hooks, these authors help the American public realize the socially incorrect views our culture displays. In mainstream American culture and literature inaccurate representations of African-Americans has created false distortions within society. Black Death and blacks role in society has contributed to the negative portrayal of African-Americans in our culture.
In bell hooks' essay "Sorrowful Black Death Is Not a Hot Ticket" she examines Hollywood's negative representation of African-Americans in films. Hooks argues that in movies, Hollywood minimizes the effect of black character deaths. The death of an African-American character evokes no sympathy from the audience. Hook's essay says, "dying that makes the audiences contemplative,
sad, mindful of the transitory nature of human life has little appeal" (99). She claims that the sorrowful death of a black character in a film is of no interest to most audiences. Hook also remarks in her essay that in many Hollywood movies, Black Death is frequently very violent. The death of blacks is often downplayed and hooks remarks that " there can be no serious representation of death and dying when the character are African-Americans" (hooks 99). She argues that the value of black life is worth nothing to the audiences and the death of an African-American is similar to dead meat. Bla...
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...t be taken lightly, because sexist/racist thinking can great damage a culture.
In both essays, bell hooks and Toni Morrisons address the issue of racial inequality in their depiction of Hollywood's view towards African-Americans. The lack of emphasis of the portrayal African-American death can lead to cruel generalizations and stereotypes of an entire culture. White male scriptwriters for Hollywood must take a step back from the social norm and come to terms with reality. They must understand that violent Black Death might be a hot seller at the box office, however in turn it further shapes our inaccurate view of African-Americans. In Toni Morrison and bell hooks' work we see a common theme that has originated in American culture which portrays the lack of education we display towards the African-American population in our country.
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