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Conservative Implications of the Irrelevance of Racism in Contemporary African American Cinema

Earl Sheridan
Journal of Black Studies
Vol. 37, No. 2 (Nov., 2006), pp. 177-192
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40034409
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Conservative Implications of the Irrelevance of Racism in Contemporary African American Cinema
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Abstract

Historically, African American cinema has been used to illuminate the scourge of racism in American society. From Oscar Micheaux to Spike Lee, the struggle against racism has been a prominent theme in movies by and about African Americans. It is ironic that since the 1990s, when more Black filmmakers than ever before have reached prominence in Hollywood, race and racism have virtually ceased to be major themes, and the few films that do address racism have faired badly at the box office, even among young Blacks. Why has this occurred? There are several factors at work. One is the cautious nature of the film industry itself when it comes to controversial, socially conscious movies. But perhaps more important is a growing conservatism among some young Blacks and a growing despair among others that lead them to discount the relevance of confronting racism in contemporary society.

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