Ethnic Notions: Film Response

Topics: Racism, African American, Race Pages: 4 (1222 words) Published: April 4, 2007
Ethnic Notions: Film Response
The 1987 film documentary Ethnic Notions directed by Marlon Riggs, identifies the evolution of African American cultural depictions through ethnic stereotypes and caricatures in American culture. I feel Ethnic Notions exposes the roots of false generalization from the beginning and presents a series of classifications for racial depictions that still are noticeable in today's society. These racial depictions identified with in this film begin in the mid 1800's and continue thought to the 1960's. I now after viewing Ethnic notions agree that there are generalizations and depictions that are exaggerated in American popular culture and entertainment.

Ethnic Notions properly documents racial stereotypes though out this film using cultural evidence and supporting opinions of members with in this field of study. In addition Ethnic Notions uproots many popular depictions and presents them clearly using firm supporting evidence. Evidence such as American films, poems, books, songs, forms of dance, and depictive objects are used to show and present these descriptions to the viewer. Ethnic notions Touches upon the beliefs that these ethnic stereotypes and caricatures subliminally taint American popular culture with a dark raciest shadow. Also Ethnic Notions suggest theses distinctions indirectly support segregation, wile acting as a form of cultural entertainment. The main focus in Ethic Notion is clear through out the film, ethnic stereotypes are present with in popular American Culture.

From the civil war era to the late 1960's Ethnic Notions traces African American depictions and illustrates the connection between these depictions and popular culture. Ethnic notions portrayed six major ethnic depictions, the Mammy, the Sambo, the Zip Coon, the Uncle, and the Black Rambo.

Portrayed as a simple, docile, laughing black man, the Sambo is viewed to be one of the first stereotypical depictions. Most noticed in the late 1820's,...
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