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Spike Lee Blackness has Many Meanings Presently in America a war is being fought Forget about guns planes and bombs the weapons from now on will be the newspapers magazines TV shows radio and FILM The right has gotten BOLD bolstered by their squashing of Ice-Ts COP KILLER any piece of art that doesnt hold the party line is subject to attack Its war on the battle grounds of culture -Spike Lee a The presence or lack thereof of a realistic portrayal of African-Americans in American films is a pertinent issue Hollywood has a tendency to stereotype or completely ignore African-Americans in the feature films it produces Historical films typically have their African-American presence in the form of an illiterate slave or inferior character who is usually brutalized raped mistrusted stupid violent or violated in some way In the blockbuster Forrest Gump Forrests friend Bubba is as nearly as much of an idiot as Gump himselfPfeil 258 The film version of Nathaniel Hawthornes classic The Scarlet Letter infuses an African American slave character into the loosely adapted script and then proceeds to depict her with the negative stereotypical characteristics that we unfortunately see too often She is mute helpless at the hands of her masters and raped While this may have been the reality for many slaves the problem lies in the superficiality of the representation of African American characters Historical and popular film has denied the personal detailed and important histories and lives of a whole people The simplistic linear representation of African Americans which Hollywood utilizes has consequently projected a false sense of identity onto American culture In his attempt to counter these false images director writer and producer Spike Lee has been successful in drawing huge audiences into theaters with his original style of filmmaking He tackles taboo subjects such as discrimination and hatred in the consumer driven economically unequal culture of America Two of his best
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