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Word Count: 3,137
Michelle Wallace author of the essay Boyz in the Hood and Jungle Fever defines the term jungle fever as a condition in which blacks and whites Asians Native Americans and Latinos appear to be both immune to the disease and irrelevant to the narration become intimately involved because of their curiosity about their racial difference perish the thought rather than for love Wallace 126 This is the basis of Spike Lees Jungle Fever 1991 which focuses on the apparent lack of solidarity between the different classes within the black community as well as the absence of the strong two-parent black family These relationships according to the movie seem to be a major factor in the downfall of the black family causing isolation chaos and in some cases even violence A major element in addressing interracial relationships is Lees use of sexual based myths of gender and race The myths are 1 the natural awareness of sex and the lack of innocence of black women 2 the secret desire that black men have to conquer white women and 3 the lust-based interest that white women have for the exotic Other While the movie does include a somewhat accurate representation of the frustration that black women and black men feel towards being held up to white standards of beauty the Lee fails to debunk these myths Instead they are perpetuated and presented not as myth but as fact The movie begins with the song Jungle Fever by Stevie Wonder playing in the background as we see the opening credits These acknowledgements are strategically designed on traffic poles with signs reading Parking for Italians Only and Dont Even THINK About It providing what seems to be the premise of the entire movie The viewer if she or he notices these not-so-discrete messages becomes aware of the separation between black and white that will be portrayed The movie takes place in two neighborhoods- Harlem and
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