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Racial Profiling

            The blinding splendor of ancient African kingdoms seems lost in modern Hollywood cinema. The portrayed images of Black people are often erroneous. Blacks are depicted as the stereotypical "sidekick,"" the "local color-, or other exoticized characters. Film has the power to act as a mechanical "eye-, and is taken for face-value reality for many; this misinterpretations are believed easily by those who have had little interaction with the portrayed persons. A perfect example of this phenomenon is the confusion surrounding the movie King Kong. When this film about a giant gorilla was introduced to the United States in year?, very few Americans had had any contact with Africans. This film provided many Americans with their first glimpse of the inhabitants of the "Dark Continent."" Millions of Americans entered movie theatres to be met by non-English speaking, half-naked, nose-ring bearing "natives- that were portrayed as barbaric, lacking culture and morals, and frightening. .
             Instead of upholding their responsibility to preserve reality while exercising artistry, many Hollywood filmmakers choose to dramatically alter the truth of the persons they portray. Far too often the process of racial mythification occurs "filmmakers of the dominant culture choose to portray others as debased, in effect devaluing the culture of the other while simultaneously showing the filmmaker's culture as being the standard or the "norm."" According to position and first name Reed, the dominant culture never sees itself as abnormal; therefore, anything that differs from the dominant culture is seen as unimportant and substandard. This "dominant I (eye)- is characteristic of many Hollywood films that render Black characters that are monolithic; this portrayal eliminates the multiplicity and plasticity of the characterized persons. This act of robbing a people of their stories is directly related to the theft of freedom, autonomy, and culture that has occurred and been perpetrated for centuries by outsiders to Black people of Africa and those descendants scattered throughout the world.

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