African American Women and Sexuality in the Cinema by Norma Manatu

By Norma Manatu

This paintings makes a speciality of the sexual objectification of African American girls in movie from the Eighties to the early 2000s. Critics of the damaging sexual imagery have lengthy speculated that regulate through African American filmmakers may switch how African American ladies are depicted. This paintings examines 16 movies made through men either white and black to determine how the imagery could range with the race of the filmmaker. 4 dimensions are given distinctive consciousness: the range of the women's roles and relationships with males, the sexual attitudes of the African American girl characters, their attitudes in the direction of males, and their nonverbal and verbal sexual behaviors.

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Given that white men had almost institutionalized sexual access to black women with little fear of actual reprisals, black female slaves generally had little or no power of refusal (Brownmiller, 1975; St. Jean & Feagin, 1998). Despite such widespread violation, black women were then accused of sexual promiscuit y (Brownmiller, 1975; Omolade, 1983; Collins, 1990). Gutman (1976) indicates that the stereotype owes not a little to historian Phillip A. Bruce (The Plantation Negro as a Freeman, 1889).

20). Applying Gerbner’s (1967) “mainstreaming” theory to film, Jowett & Linton (1980) describe this “mainstreaming” process as a visual public “consensus” (p. 75) whereby film transfers individual perspectives into “broad public perspectives” (Gerbner, 1967). The process is achieved by providing audiences with a constant supply of tried-and-true story-formulas, images and characters ( Jowett & Linton, 1980, pp. 74–75). Public consensus is also achieved by reinforcing 2. The Form of the Film Medium 35 the beliefs, attitudes, and values of the dominant ideology of American society, what Linton (1978) refers to as “dramas of reassurances” ( Jowett & Linton, 1980, p.

Being “attention-centered” (Postman, 1979), the moving image becomes a reservoir of cultural information because visual images contain a great deal more information than a speaker can produce at any one time. It was Postman (1979) who suggested that in our visual culture, “knowing” has come to mean having pictures rather than words in our heads, by which he means that it is the visual images which inform what we come to know, what and whom we value, and what behaviors are socially in vogue.

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