Civil Rights Movement in Film

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Essay #5 The Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s to create a sense of equality which had been discriminated against African-Americans. African-Americans fought to break free from the oppression they felt from white Americans by nonviolent acts and protest, such as sit-ins or marches. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. Throughout the next three decades after this Act was passed, African-Americans were a major interest and portrayed in several different ways throughout film. This movement, just like other major events in history, created an interest of African-Americans in film. There are many different stereotypes about African-Americans. Ranging from drug dealers, gangsters, criminals, insubordinates, and being less educated than a white American. Depictions in film are persuasive ways of making an audience believe in an idea such as stereotypes. What people see and hear about something can change their whole aspect on an idea. Filmmakers and producers have a large amount of power in this sense because they can engrave thoughts of a certain issue, or even people, to their audience just by the way they portray these things in their films. In the 1960s, the movement of civil rights was fresh in the minds of American citizens. Towards the end of the 1950s, Martin Luther King, Jr. became a major leader in the civil rights movement. He wanted to end segregation in a peaceful, nonviolent matter. In Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a film in 1967, a white woman brings home her significant other to her parents. Joey Drayton, the daughter bringing home her beau, explains this man to her mother and while she is reciting her name along with his last name, he enters the scene. This astonishes her mother since interracial relationships at the time were unheard of. In this film, John

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