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Stereotypical Strategies: Black Film Aesthetics, Spectator Positioning, and Self-Directed Stereotypes in "Hollywood Shuffle" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"

Harriet Margolis
Cinema Journal
Vol. 38, No. 3 (Spring, 1999), pp. 50-66
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1225524
Page Count: 17
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Stereotypical Strategies: Black Film Aesthetics, Spectator Positioning, and Self-Directed Stereotypes in "Hollywood Shuffle" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"
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Abstract

Writers/directors Robert Townsend and Keenan Ivory Wayans both use a strategy of self-directed stereotypes in "Hollywood Shuffle" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," their initial contributions to the surge of African American feature filmmaking that came out of Hollywood in the late 1980s. Wayans attacks stereotyping as process, presented by the media as a means of conceptualizing the world, whereas Townsend attacks specific, individually expressed stereotypes more than the process of stereotyping itself. If using self-directed stereotypes is accepted as a valuable contribution to a developing aesthetic of African American cinema, then what do these two films tell us about differences in how the strategy may be employed?

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