The Phantom Menace was Racist and Here is Why That Matters

With a title as grandiose as that, it is easy to predict reactions from those who do not want their beloved franchise besmirched. As someone who has loved the franchise since I was a toddler, it was difficult to come to terms with some of the more problematic issues that take place within the ‘first’ Star Wars movie. Opening one’s mind to see the bias or prejudice attitudes taken by a series is a hard task, mainly because one …

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We Want A Black James Bond… But Is That The Most Productive Fight To Be Fought?

There’s been a great deal of controversy these past couple of years about the future of the James Bond film franchise, a favorite among movie-goers who are into explosions and tuxedos.  Current Bond actor Daniel Craig is poised to put down the 007 mantle before long, and of course a new Bond needs to emerge in his wake. When an email between Sony and Columbia film executives was leaked in 2014, fans of the franchise learned that British actor …

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The Help and Oscars

Last week in my Psychology of African Americans class, a student presented a PowerPoint on the latest book she had read: The Help. When I saw the movie this summer, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a White woman speaking on behalf of Black women—which is ironic as White women have been a source of oppression to Black women. In blog post by Miss Caldonia—which was written on the blog “The Ladner Report”—the author expresses similar sentiment. She writes about her experience as being a maid to a White woman, Jo Lee, and describes being asked to perform disgusting tasks, such as cleaning the period stain out of her underwear. Miss Caldonia writes, “There is nothing glorious about cleaning up after dirty people and nothing like being exploited by people who don’t give a damn about you…can you imagine Jo Lee writing a book about me, my feelings, dreams, thoughts, aspirations and goals? Can you imagine Jo Lee being able to step out of her role of racial superiority long enough to give voice to me and my family? (Caldonia, 2011). The author certainly has a point, but why is it that the story glorifies the exploited work of Black women? Why was there such frenzy around this book? Was it White guilt, or something else?

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Addressing an Individual of Another Race

This past weekend I went to see the movie Red Tails in theaters which is the story of the a group of African American fighter pilots during World War II. They are faced with a great deal of racism as they are viewed to be not as capable to fight against the Germans in comparison to the other White pilots. Towards the end of the movie the African American pilots start to conquer many missions against the Germans, gaining the respect of the white pilots. One day they are at a bar together and and one of the African American pilots says to a White pilot, “White people turn red when they become angry, green when they are sick, and they are called yellow when they are cowards but you call us colored!” This leads the White pilot to then ask him what their race prefers to be called. The African American pilot informs him that they prefer to be referred to as “negro.”

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