24 Hour Customer Service:
1-570-955-1438

Call for a quote line:
1-570-301-7456

African American Film Research Papers

African American Film research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

African Americans have been involved in Hollywood film in some form since its inception in the early 20th century.  However, these early motion pictures showed blacks in an unfavorable light.  In the past one hundred years, the images of African Americans in film have changed dramatically, as racist stereotypes gave way to a new black identity and mainstream acceptance. Paper Masters suggests the following topics on African American films:

  • Overview an example of one of the first examples of a poor portrayal of African Americans in film
  • Overview an example of one of the first examples of a good portrayal of African Americans in film
  • Who are top directors of early African American films?
  • What African American films have had the greatest influence in Hollywood

One of the earliest motion pictures to present African Americans in a wholly racist way was D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent epic The Birth of a Nation.  “In terms of advancement of the medium, it must be regarded as one of the most significant films ever made”.  However, the film shows African Americans in the most racist light.  Reconstruction-era blacks are depicted as arrogant, lusty drunkards.  African Americans continued to promote the dominant racial stereotypes of the day, “appearing as chicken thieves, venial preachers and the like”.  These white Southern stereotypes were continued throughout Hollywood films through 1939’s Gone With the Wind, with Hattie McDanial’s portrayal of the maid Mammy.

African American Film

The Civil Rights and African American Film

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s led to the “blaxploitation” genre of the 1970s, in such films as Shaft or Superfly, in which the black hero became an urban outlaw.  These new images were perhaps as damaging to the image of blacks in popular culture as those of the early racial stereotypes.

 

Glory, an African American Film

However, the 1989 film Glory is important in two reasons for its depiction of African Americans.  First, it chronicles the 54th Massachusetts, the first all-black Civil War regiment.  The struggles that these men had in gaining the respect of white citizens and soldiers, and simply being allowed to fight in a conflict that was determining their fate, puts an end to the racial stereotypes of the period that Birth of a Nation implanted in American minds decades before.  These African Americans are strong and disciplined in the face of racial prejudice.

Related Research Paper Topics

1960′s - 1960's term papers discuss Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War.

Pop Culture - Pop Culture research papers examine the newest, most mainstream elements of a culture.

Racial Discrimination in America - Racial Discrimination in America research papers examine prejudices of races in America.

12 Years a Slave Film - 12 Years a Slave Film research papers overview the adaptation of Solomon Northrup’s slave narrative, recounting his 1841 kidnapping and sale into slavery.

Civil War and African Americans - Civil War and African Americans research papers examine the role of the black soldier and African Americans at the time of the Civil War.

The Daughters of the Dust - The Daughters of the Dust Research Papers illustrate the connectedness of African Americans in their traditional customs and their emergence into the blended society.

African American Family - African American Family Research Papers discuss a sample of a paper order on how to order an observation paper, with specific questions to answer on the topic.

Pearl Bailey - This discussion will present a biographical analysis of African-American entertainer Pearl Bailey, who was in her lifetime a polarizing figure within the African-American community.

Cop Shows or Films - Cop Shows or Films research papers compare and contrast cops television shows and cop movies.

Spike Lee - This paper will present an in-depth examination of Spike Lee, his personal background and motivations, the path from his humble upbringing to his current high-profile position as one of the premiere avatars of contemporary African-American culture, and the political significance of Lee’s unique cinematic vision.

Define African American Culture - Defining African American Culture Research Paper explore the African American's history, development, and distinguishing characteristics.

African Literature - African Literature essay discuss African literature from the 1970's to 1990's.

African American Music Industry - African American Music Industry Term papers on Motown and the music industry trace the origin in black culture right up to todays prolific rap music scene.