Past, Present, And Future: An Examination Of The Hood And Historical Films

1793 words - 7 pages

Society has always been influential to fads that are displaced throughout media; the public witnesses a direct mirror of themselves and current culture portrayed on movie screens, musical lyrics, and televisions scripts. During the 1990s, African-American filmmakers depicted stereotypical black youth and culture in films such as Do the Right Thing (1989) and Menace II Society (1993), otherwise known as the “hood” films. However, as much to the popularity and success of the hood films, there was great opposition to it. Historical movies like Daughters of the Dust (1991) and Devil in a Blue Dress (1995) were created to argue against hood films to portray a different African-American community that is not racialized. I am going to compare and contrast both the hood and historical films Edward Guerrero and Paula Massood both believed that the hood film was created for the benefit of portraying reality in African-American communities. Yet, Mark Berrettini, Joel Brouwer, Roger Berger, and Marilyn Wesley argue that the hood films are counterfactual to society and historical films are necessary to show a positive African-American culture.
Mirroring the anger and frustration of the African-American community of the 1960s-1970s, 1990s black filmmakers created the hood film. Like the Blaxploitation era, the film industry noted an increase in moviegoers and films to watch hood films. Both 1960s and 1990s, African-Americans were frustrated with their political and economic conditions in urban environments and addressed their anger towards making movies (Guerrero 159). It became Hollywood’s strategy to create an answer to black frustration with movies that illustrated social pressure in the ghetto (Guerrero 158). Hollywood also portrayed the rising increase and success of the 1990s hip-hop culture and translated into these political and social films (Massood 123). Like the Blaxploitation Era, the film industry utilized African-American social problems to allure audiences to increase profit and movie sales. 1990s hood films were successful because black audiences were able to relate to characters like Mookie from Do the Right Thing (1989) and Caine from Menace II Society (1993) because they portrayed the difficulties of the ghetto through everyday racism and struggles for the African-American culture. These movies showed a sense of reality because the dangerous that one must go through when he or she encounters the ghetto. Even though the inner-city life was hazardous yet vulnerable, the film industry used the negative portrayal of the ghetto to increase movie sales.
Guerrero believed that the success of the hood films resulted from identifying varying black social frames in urban settings. African-Americans felt racially oppressed and foreclosure against their ethnicity and sinking social expectations throughout American and the hood films address these problems (Guerrero 160). The triumph from hood films ultimately derived from the presence of racial...

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