Perceptions Formed from Cinema Essay examples

Submitted By patsguy9210
Words: 497
Pages: 2

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Do what you know and perceptions is converted into character.” In essence, each individual’s perceptions are figments of his or her personality, imagination, or emotions. We create these “perceptions” based upon what we believe and what we want to see. In most situations, individuals fail to recognize the opposite side of their beliefs since they are so stuck to their beliefs. This causes one-dimensional viewpoints, which are inaccurate and not based upon facts. This same concept was evident in the early 1900’s in black cinema. African American characters were portraying roles that didn’t represent the way they actually were. By doing this, they further perpetuated the stereotype that African Americans were uneducated and naïve. Some of these characters were seen as sellouts but what the audience in these films fail to recognize is that what we don’t see, we don’t know about. Two prominent black characters, Stepin Fetchit and the mammy, represent opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to images they represent. On one hand, you have a character that does not care about anyone but himself and on the other you have someone that is loyal till the day she dies. These characters have their reasoning as to why they acted in these roles, but they fail to realize that by acting, they are creating real life images of themselves. Perceptions are formed on what we see and what we already know. True or not, theses perceptions were accepted as fact and served as a way of life. In the early 1900’s, mainstream cinema and novels created images of Black society, that became the basis of White Americans perceptions in daily life, religion, and entertainment.
Black cinema was gaining steam in the early 1900’s and it was becoming easier to create scenes. Unfortunately for African Americans, it also became easier to create demeaning stereotypes. These films were mostly scene by white Americans who were quick to make