My upbringing significantly influenced the way I interpret the world. I was raised in a diverse family. Some of my relatives originate from countries such as India, Puerto Rico, and Kenya. The cultural values associated with these countries have shaped my critical approach. Besides being culturally diverse, several of my family members identify with the LGBQT community. Because of this, I have been able to develop an appreciation for a variety of values and social constructs. They have given me a well-rounded perception of the world and made me a better person.
My multi-cultural family is also responsible for developing my love of the arts. When I was young, my grandfather took me to every renowned art museum in New York City. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and many others. My appreciation for arts---specifically the art of drawing---grew with each trip. I would watch museum patrons sketch the sculptures of the MET’s Greek wing and long for the day that, I, too, would be able to draw with such brevity. My grandfather responded by encouraging me to bring a notebook with me whenever we visited a museum. Today, not much has changed.
My grandfather still continues to take me to museums and galleries. I was even fortunate enough to visit Paris with both my grandparents in 2009. The Louvre, D’Orsay, and other galleries were a highlight of the trip. My grandparents are very supportive of my decision to pursue a career in the arts. They compiled interesting articles from the arts section of the New York Times for me throughout high school and continue to mail them to me. Because of their liberal principles, they can see the value in a career path that some might consider invaluable.
As a result, it is difficult for me to understand why prejudice still exists. I find it even more difficult to understand why some deny the existence of prejudice in our modern society. Inequality affects the lives of a majority of ethnic groups. Despite common belief, it still impacts the African-American community. Both the female and LGBQT communities continue to experience inequality as well. Some of the material I analyzed embodied these specific critical theories.
Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” lends itself to the discussion of African-American critical theory. It showcases commentary about racism in the 21st century. Although I understood the film’s message, I could not help but feel offended by its content. It features derogatory imagery and language: blackface, a minstrel show, repetitive use of the word “n*****r,” and other racial slurs. “Bamboozled” also touches upon feminist criticism. Sloan, the sole lead female character, is accused of sexually exploiting herself in the workplace. According to a male character, her sexuality is the reason she was able to get a job. I found her speech about the matter ¬¬to be an excellent example of the feminist theory.
Feminist and African-American critical theory matter a lot...