Archive by Author

Final Statements.

9 Mar

Throughout this course I have been taught a lot of things that reveal underlying problems in our society in 2012. We have come a long way but this class opened my eyes to so many aspects that are overlooked by so many. Before I took this course, I thought this course was going to be about the affects that media has on communication, but I found that this course was much more in depth. Not many classes are constructed for discussions as in depth as we had in the class, this opened the gateway for so many opinions of young bright scholars to be exchanged. While examining the TV shows and reflecting on them, I was enlightened but disgusted at the material that I had been watching for so long without any notion to the depictions I was seeing. I think this was the best aspect of the class, through this I have been woken up to seeing thing a different way. The theories that were discussed and the readings were all very detrimental to the course work, I believe this is something that I can take to others and make them aware.

The blog assignment was very insightful and should be administered to everyone. My blogs were done over the negative impacts that media has on black men. I can’t put enough emphasis on how black men are currently being portrayed in the media, I find it very sad and disheartening that these stereotypes still exist when there are positive black men out there doing what they are supposed to do. I’m glad my eyes have been opened up to this. The proposal discussed in class “On The Yard” is really in motion, I passed it to my aunt which is a lawyer to first review it and get some copyright things together. I think this would be the step in the right direction. To say the least, I have learned so much my eyes have been opened and I plan to make others aware of the negative impact media has on so many.

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X-Men and what it’s really telling us.

24 Feb

 

Summary: The movie I chose to do my analyst on this week is X-Men: First Class. This movie is about young mutants that are trying to find themselves in a world full of normal people. Charles X is depicted throughout the movie as mentor to the mutants and he shows them that they can live in the racist society. Magneto a friend of professor X was depicted as the villain that turns the mutants against those that hate them so. The writers of this movie invented these characters on the basis of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. The characters that they encounter vary, every sex and race plays parts in the movie. A stripper that spits fire and flys is a black women. A black man is seen as an adapting mutant that dies first of all the mutants. The white women is seen as the assistant to the main white male character, she turns into diamonds and can read minds. The main characters are all seen as white men.


Analysis: The characters depicted show a very strong statement, they were supposed to depict the struggles of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King yet the people that play them are white men. I also found it very sad that the only black characters in the film are bad portrayals, the black woman is a stripper and she turns evil and the black man is a good character that tries to defend the rest of the good characters dies first trying to do so. It appears that the maker of the film tried to show the struggles of African Americans through a fictional film, but failed to do so through the poor representations through the characters.  It also appears that the reality of whites are most evident because the change of character depictions. The values that are highlighted are notice to racism and acceptance of people that are different. It appears the values that are highlighted are  adversity and the importance of diversity. 

Response: X-Men was meant to show the racism in society and I think they did a good job doing that but the problems lies that they are only appealing to one audience, whites. But this doesn’t surprise me, just as I proposed there needs to be more positive shows that represent us as black people. With the majority of the producers and shows makers being white there needs to be some positive representation. Not to my surprise, things won’t change anytime soon.

No change in role portrayal.

17 Feb

Summary. This week I watched The Game and I also watched Burn Notice. This week on The Game it was a repeat from last season but the episode was about Melanie and Tasha were arguing about Tasha’s managing style. Tasha is the manager of her son Malik and the manager of Melanie’s husband Derwin. Malik is having a hard time with alcoholism and hes throwing his life away but Melanie feels like it is damaging her husbands reputation. So Melanie fires Tasha and throws their friendship away. 

On burn notice the main character tries to break into a jail to break a friend out. Once he is the jail he encounters issues with other inmates.  So once the issues arises a riot also arises, in the attempt to kill the main characters friend. They eventually escape and get back to reality. 
 
Analysis: In the Game I have noticed that the portrayal of black women is pretty sad yet again. This episode portrays them to be loud, rude, disrespectful and condescending. They also show Tasha in the positive light as being a good mother and overprotective guardian. But in the same it shows Malik as a typical statistic of a black man, strung out on alcohol and cheating with the owners wife. It’s just sad that every episode is about the downfall of black characters and the audience is buying into this portrayal as entertainment. In burn notice I noticed that there was no black main characters and when the character that were black we’re portrayed they were all prisoners. Typical. This is the lat time that I watch this show because the first time made me realize that the portrayal of black men is very negative. 
 
Response: I guess black people in media will never have a positive role on television. It’s sad to see that over and over again the positive role is designagrated. With portrayals like this it is sad to see where our future will place our children with these negative portrayals. 

Are all Black Couples this way?

3 Feb

Summary : This week on The Game, the main focus of this episode put an emphasis on Melanie and Derwin’s marriage and the issues they deal with as a upperclass black family. The setting was in a church the majority of the time; Melanie and Derwin were in church and the church was a star studded church filled with famous actors and actresses but they were secluded away from all the middle and lower class people. Melanie also made the pastor hold the service until they got there also. Derwin didn’t feel like he was obligated to sit in the VIP section of the church so he made it apparent to move out of that section for the next service. During the next service they moved to the back of the church with everyone else. They were submerged in an environment that they were not used to, with all the lower and middle class black people surrounding them. The people around kept asking questions like “Are you in the right place?” or “Can I borrow some doe?” or “Can I have a picture or and autograph?” They felt really out of place until an older lady stood and testified about her losing her job and being very ill but not asking for anything but prayers from everyone.

Analysis : Throughout this episode the poor ideology that they have portrayed thus far was kind of downplayed in this particular episode, but the portrayal of a constant pestering and unhappy couple is very relevant again. The producer showed Derwin and Melanie walking in to a church that is visibly big with well known stars around, and her winking at the pastor as she sat down in the VIP section. Of course for any man that would bother a husband to have his wife winking at a pastor. They argued about that and about something as petty as sitting in a particular section at church. This was showing that the couple is constantly bickering and arguing over the smallest of things; not a fair assumption for black newly wed couples. Melanie was thought to be a flirt and very annoyed by lower class and middle class people once they moved to the regular section while Derwin seemed to not mind it so much. Also in the episode both were described as a hyper sexual couple considering Melanie’s trying to get pregnant by Derwin. They even showed that she prayed to God asking for a baby, seems to be a bit much. Although once again the main audience for this particular show is black women, the portrayal of black men and women are very low of standards as apposed to  its white counterparts. The producers seem to have tried to make the show appeal to black women as a relatable show, but my are they incorrect. The surrounding audience when Melanie and Derwin were in the regular section was another poor portrayal at its finest; all black people, 2 men and one young lady and one older lady all had some type of problem with them. One of the men asked Derwin to sign the front of his bible, while the other man asked Derwin for money. Had it been a white character they probably would have just sat there and not said two words to him but the ignorant black guy had to be played out as usual. The young lady snuck a picture on her cell phone in the middle of church with Derwin, while the old woman stood to testify. These are just all back representation of black people.

Reflection : I really like this show, but as pointed out above the poor portrayal of black character’s is sad to watch at times. But the only thing that bothers me the most is that the show is now popular on BET (Black Entertainment Television) whereas it was not doing as well on other channels. Why is it that white people don’t care to see black people played out in this manner but yet black people love to see this as entertainment. We have got to do better.

One’s portrayal of how a Black Man should be.

27 Jan

Summary : On this weeks assignment, we were to examine 3 different magazines and on the topic you have chosen. The 3 magazines that I have picked were GQ, Esquire, and King magazine; all of which have the perceived audience of men; no particular color overall just men. The GQ magazine is exclusively a men’s fashion magazine that highlights the different fashions of the world. Many high end brands are featured in this magazine along with aspiring fashion geeks, this magazine gives an outlet for men to be able to try some daring things in fashion while also keeping them up to date on whats in style and whats not. The other magazine the I read was an older Esquire magazine, this is also a mens magazine that is specializes in a variety of things that supposedly pertain to the lives of men such as, beautiful women, vacation spots, alcoholic drinks and food recipes, music and sports. This magazine gives some points of views of many different columnist about their aspects of what works for them or things that other men should try and do. The final magazine I examined was a King magazine, this magazine is also for men but draws a larger crowd in black men. This magazine is one that especially highlights the beauty in women for the eyes of men. Some also call it soft porn, but its a little more in depth than that. The women that appears on the front of the magazine half naked is also interviewed and asked a variety of question to give the readers a feel of the type of women she is. Other things also appear in the magazine such as they did in the Esquire, so it’s not just a lustful filled magazine.

Analysis : Upon examining these magazines I found to my surprise an unswerving amount of evidence that supports my claim of how black men are viewed by the masses, STILL. Lets start with the GQ magazine, I myself am an avid supporter of this magazine, I have a subscription and I love fashion; but the way the black men are seen throughout the magazine is disgraceful. For this magazine to be a supporter of all types of fashion, there is not one that shows the ethnic and urban styles of black men. All I see in the magazine is majority white men, older white men at that and when it comes to the portrayal of black men it’s dressing them up with a suit and tie, possible a bow tie, tailored pants, and colored socks. Im not saying anything is wrong with that, but does this show the versatility of fashion? No its does not, nor does it show how most middle class black men dress. I have noticed that they take well known black men and strip them of their style and put the style of someone else. Most of the clothes that they are wearing are in the high thousands and most can’t afford that anyways, but the fact that the black men are made to look more “white” bothers me. The example below shows Swizz Beats a well known producer put in a style that he would never wear on his own accord, the stripping of his own identity and substituted with another.  

The other magazine that I was not surprised about its misrepresentation of black men in was Esquire. This magazine has a popular audience of older white men, so this absence of black men was not a major surprise to me but the presence is what threw me off. Black men, in this magazine were seen only in ads for the most part, it was one black model in this magazine he had a suit on and it appeared to be at an airport. But he also had the same issue as stated above. But after doing some research on this particular magazine, I typed in the search engine “Black men in Esquire” and a picture of Will Smith came up with him resembling a monkey. I thought that to be very offensive considering the history of white people calling black men monkeys. This would probably be considered comedy to the majority of the magazines readers but its sad how black men are still viewed. The values that are being highlighted in this particular issue of the magazine is a sense of superiority from white men to make black men do anything. 

The final magazine has a creator of a black man and I still find it shameful how he views his own people. Not to mention the half naked women on the front of each issue of King, but it infers that black men are sexed crazed beings. This magazine focuses on the opposite sex by advertisement throughout this whole magazine. It almost appears to be a bathing suit calendar throughout this whole magazine; the main audience for this magazine is black men and yet in it, it has barely nude women.

The basis of what I am trying to say about all the magazines is that black men is still portrayed incorrectly, either from one extreme all the way to the other. The consensus of black men is never really illustrated out as the REAL black men. In magazines such as GQ and Esquire black men are rarely even in the magazines, but when they are taken out of character of the everyday black man. The portrayal of the black man having fair skin and dressing very much like a corporate white man. Or even in the King magazine where the women on the cover are predominately black, half naked, with an audience of predominantly black men infer black men to be these sexed crazed beings. There doesn’t have to be a half naked women on the front of a magazine to get the attention of your readers. You could tell that the reality and concern of white men is at the heart of all these magazines. The values of day to day life of a white man was also being highlighted while the thoughts and actual day to day life of a REAL black black man are being suppressed. They may think they are being shown but thats just not the real reality of things. Whats baffled me the most in all of the magazines were the ads, judging by those men are supposed to drink, smoke, have beautiful women by the masses and live life with no regards. All I seen was technology ads, Alcohol ads, and the one below speaks for itself. Found in the King magazine by the way.

Response : I find it very hard to swallow the fact that I know so many very successful and smart black men. Yet those men whether they be famous or not are overlooked on how black men are portrayed in the media. Not all black men are sex crazed, thugs, that only drink and smoke, nor are all of them that slip through the cracks and try not to be a statistic white acting, or preppy dressing. I just wish one day the true identity will be recognized.

Portrayal of Black Men

20 Jan

Summary: Continuing with the show “The Game” and it’s interpretation of black men within the series, this particular episode this week took the focus off Jason this week and took it to Malik and Derwin and his relationship. Malik, this week was confronted with his frivolous spending habits; he was forced to downsize many of his possessions and live like a normal person with Hollywood status. This comes, as a surprise to Malik but shouldn’t considering the things he has purchased in such little time. His girlfriend is taken away from him and put back into rehab for drug abuse but his mother is there to help him every step of the way, she may not want to but she does as any mother would for their son. His mom, Tasha keeps using the saying “Family First” because she realizes she has to look out for her son, she drops Derwin as a client to pick her son back up. Derwin, on the other hand some issues himself; Melanie (his wife) and he are having problems themselves dealing with marital issues. They were first pictured in the series having issues being faithful with each other. Melanie had an affair in college with another man, got pregnant and had an abortion. Derwin also was unfaithful but the girl he was unfaithful with had the baby. These two go through every episode confronting each others past relationships and arguing about something.

 

Analyze: Throughout the episodes it is very entertaining to most but underlines sublimely many problems in the black community and is showcased for everyone to see. The episodes are revealing things that are stereotyped for many black men in there relationships as well as their financial background. Although this show is supposed to be for a female audience it highlights so much about a black man. It shows the flaws that they have and how they are seen in the public eye. The issues that Malik is having with his finances is something to pay close attention to, he has about 5 very expensive cars, a 40 million dollar house, nice jewelry, and loves living lavish. These are the things the show focuses on when it comes to Malik; he is seen as the character that has it all. But then they belittle him when he is stripped of his most prized possessions; they show his mother coming to bell him out once his money is spent. His financial advisor, a white man, takes pride in taking everything from him and wants to expose that he has no money to belittle him even more.

Derwin and his situation focuses not so much on finances but his relationship and respect for women; the producers show Derwin as a funny and loving guy but when it comes to his relationship he wants to have his cake and eat it too. He cheats on his women and has a child and expects Melanie (his wife) to be okay with that; of coarse out of revenge she does the same. The whole relationship is shown as a dysfunctional one but they remain together throughout it all. This shows that this type of unhealthy and unfaithful relationship is natural amongst black couples. Cheating and being dishonest are values that are constantly highlighted in every episode with their constant arguments and communication within the relationship. There are healthy relationships I just wish that the producers could focus on that at least with one couple out of the many in the show. The commercials in between the show appear to be focused toward women, in terms of the shows they were showing to be next like Wendy Williams show, and Lets Stay Together. But the outsourced commercials were things like Kotex and Legal help from what I could see.

 

Response: The show is meant to be funny, I understand that but the more I analyze with this activity the more I realize that things are more evident than others throughout the show. The focus on unstable relationships in the black community, the focus on financial instability, and the relationships that black men have on black women is highlighted in bold the more and more that I watch. The men are shown to be the modern day “dog” where they do the dirt but are apologetic about like it was an accident. The men are also shown to give a care in the world for black women, hence the reason why they feel the way they do about black men. They think we are all the same since we are portrayed in that manner.

Fair skinned black man & the black women.

14 Jan

Summary: I watched The Game, a series that airs on BET on Tuesday nights. In this particular episode as in previous episodes the character Jason Pitts is highlighted on his issue of his race identity. Jason Pitts is a lighter skinned man that was recently divorced from his white wife, they also had a daughter as well. In previous episodes he always made comments to his wife about her hanging with black women and acting like them, Tasha Mack plays the ghetto black women in the show in which she was good friends with Jason Pitts wife. In this particular episode Jason goes into a bar that he visits frequently and commands attention from a black bartender named Chardonnay. As ghetto as that may sound to Jason, he makes fun of her name like a 12 year old child on the playground. She responds back as he disrespects her and he tells the manager that she isn’t serving him properly, ultimately getting her fired. She is furious and has to take the bus home, Jason feels bad and offers her a ride home afterwards where that later leads to dinner and drinks. Jason gets plastered (drunk ) and they get married in Mexico, he eventually wakes to see his mistakes from the drunk night. Chardonnay explains what happened last to him, and he goes on to disrespect her calling her ghetto, a gold digger, and just like the rest of the black women. She defines herself as none of what he is referring to her as and explains that he says all these things because he is scared of a real black women. She doesn’t want any of his money and she married him only as a joke to him because he got her fired. She also explains that he is running from his true identity as a black man, she states, “No matter how you act or what you may say at the end of the day you are still a black man and your daughter will be a black women so stop running from the truth.” At the end of this scene you can see that Jason is smacked in the face with reality.

Analysis/Application: Prior to this episode Jason’s character was seen as attempting to be just like a white man, in which is seen as a superior being to the audience. His comments that are made throughout the episodes are reflective of how he really feels about the black community. He gave a story to Chardonnay about when he was in high school at a dance and he asked two black girls to dance and they played him and said, “not your white butt” but the white girls would dance with him. But now that he is star quarterback for the football team all the black girls love him. He stereotyped black women to be gold diggers and ghetto and by his actions he is trying to be a white man and leave his black roots behind him.

Response: Although the topics were pretty evident, this is not the only portrayal of light skinned black men and black women. The black women in this show are seen to be slick with the tongue, ghetto acting and loud. The only light skinned black man is seen to be in denial of his nationality, he married a white women, and he talks very professional often correcting his black friends. This assignment made me realize this because I often overlook it because I am a light skinned black man myself very in touch with my black side. Every Tuesday I will continue to take a critical view at the show.