Toni Morrison And Bell Hooks: Fighting For Truth

910 words - 4 pages

Toni Morrison and bell hooks: Fighting for Truth

 

In a society where harsh generalization and inaccurate stereotypes of African-Americans are present in everyday life, two authors have attempted to try and make a change in the way whites perceive blacks. In conversations with Toni Morrison and essays written by bell hooks, these authors help the American public realize the socially incorrect views our culture displays.  In mainstream American culture and literature inaccurate representations of African-Americans has created false distortions within society.  Black Death and blacks role in society has contributed to the negative portrayal of African-Americans in our culture.

 

     In bell hooks' essay "Sorrowful Black Death Is Not a Hot Ticket" she examines Hollywood's negative representation of African-Americans in films.  Hooks argues that in movies, Hollywood minimizes the effect of black character deaths.  The death of an African-American character evokes no sympathy from the audience.  Hook's essay says, "dying that makes the audiences contemplative,

sad, mindful of the transitory nature of human life has little appeal" (99). She claims that the sorrowful death of a black character in a film is of no interest to most audiences. Hook also remarks in her essay that in many Hollywood movies, Black Death is frequently very violent.  The death of blacks is often downplayed and hooks remarks that " there can be no serious representation of death and dying when the character are African-Americans" (hooks 99).  She argues that the value of black life is worth nothing to the audiences and the death of an African-American is similar to dead meat.  Black life is worthless in the eyes of Hollywood.

 

     Likewise, in a recent conversation, Toni Morrison also comments on the negative portrayal Hollywood has asserted on black life.  The incorrect stereotypes of African-Americans in films lead to extreme generalization by the white American public.  In a recent interview with Charles Ruas, Morrison says that often in movies, "white men in our society are more inclined to formulate scripts were the white male is the hero and the black man is the perpetrator" (97).  African-Americans are usually depicted as the villain, who steals, cheats, lies, and kills and sometimes feels little or no remorse for their actions.  She comments that "I think the white males have been only been addressing the white population when they write" (Morrison 109).  Most films are not addressing the realistic view of an African-Americans life (Morrison 110).  Morrison stresses that these inaccurate stereotypes have been forever present in the entertainment industry.

 

      In comparison to Hooks and Morrison's writings on Hollywood, both authors attempt to address the issue of blacks role in...

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