American Violet Essays

Submitted By dlterry
Words: 891
Pages: 4

Page 1

Critical Review
American Violet The movie American Violet is about the wrongful arrest and attempted prosecution of Dee Roberts, a twenty-four year old, black, single mother, who lives in a small town in Texas in a poverty stricken apartment complex. The movie is based on a real modern day case, of racial injustice, Regina Kelly v John Paschall. From a sociological view point, the movie is full of social meaning, racial profiling, and gender stratification. From the beginning of the movie we are introduced to Dee, the strong female lead. Her character is portrayed as a loving mother, but, she is the “typical” stereotype of a female black woman. She is loving but stern with her children, she is depicted as verbally aggressive as well as physically aggressive. She is also portrayed as being “loose”, as she has four children with three different fathers. All the characters throughout the film are stereotyped. Dee’s mother, who is also black, is strong, stern and out-spoken. Two of the men from Dee’s past are black men in prison for drug crimes. Her most recent ex, father of the two younger children, is black, verbally abusive, as well as physically abusive, as shown when he breaks into her apartment demanding his children. Even the police and law enforcement characters are stereo-typed as being on a power trip and uncaring. Even though the movie is based on a true story, the writer of the movie may have somewhat exaggerated the characters. The movie shows the impact of growing up in the community and the social meanings attached to growing up there and being black. As far as a social constructed view of female black women, Dee has a typical low paying job as a waitress. When she loses one waitress job, the only other jobs she pursues are other waitressing jobs. Dee and the other citizens that resided in Tulia, and specifically in the area targeted by the police raids, while living in the United States and in the state of Texas, were part of a sub-culture. With designs for living, sets of beliefs, and practices that are transmitted from one generation to another within a subgroup. In the movie Dee talked of remembering police raids in the area since she was a child. The movie address’ social structure, in the pattern of Dee’s relationships and behaviors of the way men and woman in her society react with each other. It is evident in the relationships she has had with men, the first two ended with the men being incarcerated. We are led to believe that none of her relationships with men have been Critical Review Page 2 positive, other than her having her children as a result. Even her relationship with a father is not addressed, suggesting it is common for the women in the movie to be a single parent. American Violet clearly suggests social stratification, the differences among people on the basis of their membership in categories socially defined as significant, and the accompanying differences in their access to scarce resources and their obligations they bear. For example, Dee could not afford an attorney, and it was hard for her to find and maintain a job to provide for her family. Although Dee did stay away from drugs and illegal activities