African American Studies
1 October, 2010
Oppression of African Americans
In the documentary Ethnic Notions directed by Marlon Riggs, illustrates the oppression African Americans have faced during the time of slavery up until the present day. The same forms of oppression blacks faced during slavery is the same type of oppression they faced today, decades after slavery was abolished. These forms of oppression still seen today are evidence that America has not made very little progress in eliminating the inequalities among the white and black Americans. The documentary uses different caricatures to portray African Americans in the wrong light. These characters were suppose to show the way black people looked, and behaved even though none of these characters actually depicted the way black people truly looked or acted. Even though the video focused manly on the way African Americans are perceived by society, it focused on an even bigger issue; the main point of the documentary was to provide evidence that African Americans were better off left in captivity during the times of slavery. Riggs begins the documentary by displaying the images of black caricatures that was introduced during the slavery time period, and explaining how those same caricatures have been seen around the world. Even today those same black caricatures can be seen in people homes, including in the homes of many African Americans. The people portrayed in these characters are all extremely dark with large lips, and very unappealing. Those cartoon caricatures do not in any shape or form bear a resemblance to what black people actually look like. All African Americans do not look exactly the same, but none of them are truly as dark as the caricatures and their lips are not as large and abnormally shaped as seen on the caricatures. Even though black people do not look like these cartoon characters, people still see...