Cultural Artifact Analysis

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Black people, African American Pages: 3 (1029 words) Published: May 20, 2013
How High Cultural Artifact Analysis
In this paper, I will explore how the movie How High reinforces racial and classist stereotypes associated with African Americans. I will then discuss how the use of these stereotypes diminishes hope for African Americans who would like to go to college.

How High is about two African American males who decide to smoke magical marijuana before taking college entrance exams. This marijuana enables them to score very well on the exam and thus get accepted to many prestigious universities. They decide to go to Harvard where they continue to smoke the magical weed, cause a ruckus and stand out among their all-white classmates.

I will first discuss how the movie reinforces the stereotype that all black people are drug users and how this stereotype affects viewers of all races. The two main characters in the movie are “stoners”; they smoke weed before every class, grow weed in their dorm room and try to convince everyone to smoke weed with them. This is clearly an exaggeration but it unfortunately has strong effects on its viewers. Many scenes show their white classmates using drugs and consuming alcohol, yet it is presented as far more subversive when the two black men smoke. This exemplifies the idea of white privilege and how it is reinforced in our minds, even in the most innocent looking movies. This allows white viewers to justify their drinking and drug use while, at the same time, judging their black peers for engaging in similar behavior. White privilege is a problem that African Americans struggle with every day. Additionally, it is important to note that this particular instance of white privilege is based on many false assumptions. Black people tend to get arrested more often for drug use because of racial profiling. There is a cycle happening in society that often goes over looked: the ideas of white privilege are enforced through movies such as How High, so police officers are then more likely to be suspicious of...
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