Representation of African American Race in Movies 

Subject: Sociology
Type: Reflective Essay
Pages: 2
Word count: 533
Topics: Race, African American Culture, Ethnicity, Identity, Stereotypes

Being an African American requires one to understand the concept of self-esteem and self-identification. The history of mistreatment of blacks created a platform for me to stand and express myself without fear of the whites. Notably, self-belief and knowledge are important factors in establishing ones establishment in the society. As a young child, my parents inculcated values such as courage, hard work and self-realization and therefore understood that I had different skin and hair than my white neighbors. This however did not mean that whites were superior and more intelligent than blacks were. I grew up knowing that I had the same opportunities as white and therefore developed a strong personality. However, majority of African Americans struggles to fit in different societal activities especially getting education in a school with whites as the majority. Notably, a good number of the whites have changed their perception on the black community, as this is witnessed by increase in interracial marriages and tolerance. I plan to use my strong personality in future to fight for the lives of African Americans in finding equal opportunities of education, employment and justice. 

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The movie Love and Basketball explains the hard work of young African American friends who are in the school basketball team. The movie explains the progressive of the two stars is exemplifying their talents and in becoming better players. The movie depicts the importance of family unit in the African American culture where fathers are mainly the mentors to their children. Additionally, the movie explains the growth of love between Monica and Quincy who are the main casts in the movie. Their love story surpasses difficulties, which they manage to conquer and make a great couple. The hard work of blacks is evidently seen when the two successfully juggle their studies, love and basketball and become betters parents to their daughter. Their lives define a positive identity of blacks who focuses on their talent and content in shaping their lives despite the social difficulties they face. The movie boosts my identity in aiming for the set goals despite the social problems there may be. 

The stereotype of making black people look like stupid, violent, rapists, lazy, foolish, and abusing drugs portrays a negative aspect of the African American people. Movies that enhance racism, slavery, and violence give negative thoughts of the black people. Moreover, screenwriters put black women as dramatic or the religious woman who is always Godly but big and fat. The movie planet of the apes depicts blacks as the second-class citizens and hence likening to apes and making whites the heroes and supreme people in the world. Inequality of resources and viewing the black community as minority group in America affect the social perception of many African Americans. Empowerment of the black people is imperative in encouraging their fight for better positions in society and demanding for better roles in movies. The views of blacks by the society motivate and make me feel optimistic in fighting for the voice and rights of unprivileged black people. 

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  1. Markus, R.H. N.d. who am I? Race, Ethnicity, and Identity. 
  2. Belgrave, F.Z., Allison, W.K. African America Psychology. 
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