As part of the course requirements, each student is required to submit a second paper. Your paper should critically examine topics related to the intersection of race and cinema in the post-1960s period. The topics below are provided to assist you in developing your final paper. This paper should be 7-9 pages in length and must adhere to the following guidelines. The paper has to demonstrate your ability to apply theoretical concepts to reading race on screen. Additionally, it should be argumentative, reflect your ability to critically examine racial representations in cinema, and demonstrate your ability to formulate original ideas. Please consult a variety of sources including: class lectures, assigned reading materials, course pack, reserve reading material, e-resources, dvds/videos (on reserve at the Media Resources Center), etc. In conducting research for this paper you need to consult journal articles, on-line resources, books, documents, etc. This paper constitutes one-fourth of your grade and should reflect your best effort. The paper is due November 19, 2019 and class presentations (which have been selected from these papers) will be held on December 3, 2019 (last day of class).
1) Select a picture that has been re-made and examine how these versions compare to or
differ from each other in their representation of African Americans.
The Defiant Ones (1958 Sidney Poitier & Tony Curtis) /Fled (1996 Laurence Fishburne);
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)/ A Time to Kill (1996 Samuel Jackson)/
Cry the Beloved Country (Sidney Poitier, Canada Lee)/Cry the Beloved Country (James Earl Jones);
Shaft (1971, Richard Roundtree)/Shaft (2000 Samuel L. Jackson);
King Kong (1933)/King Kong (2005);
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)/Guess Who (2005);
Twelve Years a Slave (2013)/ Half Slave/Half Free;
Manchurian Candidate (1962)/Manchurian Candidate (2004 Denzel Washington)
Home of the Brave (1949)/Home of the Brave (2006 Samuel Jackson);
Superfly (1972)/Superfly (2018)
2) Examine how African American physicians historically have been transformed onscreen and assess how this screen
image has improved or deteriorated (i.e. No Way Out, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Eve’s Bayou).
3) Examine the construction of race in films involving serial killers or tormentors (i.e. Summer of Sam, Kiss the Girls,
Seven, No Good Deed, Traffik).
4) Select an actor or actress and develop a guiding argument that will allow you to examine his/her body of works
with respect to how they have been transformed onscreen (Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita
Nyong’o, Denzel Washington, Kerry Washington, Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Whoopi Goldberg,
Samuel Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx, Cuba Gooding, Michael Early, Kevin Hart, Taye Diggs, Morris
Chestnut, Dwayne Johnson, Jada Pinkett, Vivica Fox, Alfre Woodard, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Cuba Gooding, Terence Howard, Forest, Whitaker, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Sanaa Lathan, Gabrielle Union, Tariji P. Henson; Octavia Spencer, Beyonce, Danny Glover, Idris Elba, etc.)
5) Examine how the African American family has been presented onscreen from the 1960s to the present (i.e. Once
Upon a Time, When We Were Colored, A Raisin in the Sun, The Preacher’s Wife, Eve’s Bayou, Crooklyn, Inkwell, Soul Food, Beloved, Color Purple, Precious, The Butler, Precious, Fences etc.)
6) Examine how African Americans in the military have been depicted onscreen (i.e.Glory, A Soldier’s Story,
Tuskegee Airmen, Buffalo Soldiers, Courage Under Fire, Crimson Tide, Three Kings, Miracle at St. Anna, Red Tails)
7) Assess how institutions of higher learning have been depicted onscreen (i.e. School Daze,
Higher Learning, Great Debaters, Dear White People, etc.)
8) Examine how interracial relationships have been reconstructed onscreen (i.e. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, One
Potato, Two Potato, Jungle Fever, Body Guard, Jackie Brown,
Bulworth, Mississippi Masala, One False Move, Monster’s Ball, Something New, Shadowboxer, Black
Snake Moan, Lakeview Terrace, Four Brothers, Flight, Belle, Get Out, Dear White People).
9) Explore the relationship between rap artists and cinema based on a guiding argument (Ice Cube, Ice Tea, Queen Latifah,
Tupac, Heavy D, Will Smith, Mos Def, Snoop Dog, Fifty Cents, Ludacris, Xzibit, Outkast, Bow Wow, Nelly, Eve,
Common, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Eninem, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Beyonce,
Jay-Z, Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, NAS, Ice Cube, Meek Mill, etc. etc.)
10) Examine how black militancy has been transformed onscreen (i.e. Panther, Malcolm X, Django Unchained, Birth of
11) Examine the evolution of black horror films in cinema (i.e. Blacula, Tales from the Hood,
Def by Temptation, To Sleep with Anger, Last Vampire in Brooklyn, Scream Blacula Scream, Candyman,
Tyler Perry’s Boo, Get Out, Traffik, etc.)
12) Assess how black male camaraderie has been transformed on screen and discuss how black
masculinity is presented in these films (i.e. Cooley High, Boyz in the Hood, Juice, New Jack City, Menace II Society, Get on the Bus, Five Heartbeats, The Best Man, The Wood, Life, Baby Boy, Drumline, The Brothers, Idlewild, Barbershop, Fruitvale Station, Straight Out of Compton, Moonlight, All Eyez On Me, etc.)
13) Compare and contrast the black detective to the white detective (i.e. Shaft vs. James Bond, Seven, Enemy of the
State, True Crime, Kiss the Girls, Man on Fire, High Crimes, Inside Man, Déjà vu, Shaft, The Taking of Pelham, 123, Central Intelligence, etc.)
14) Examine Black/White Buddy Films (i.e. Danny Glover, Eddie Murphy, Keenan Wayans,
Morgan Freeman – (i.e. Lethal Weapon I, II, III, IV, Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Beverly Hills
Cops, The Last Boy Scout, Kiss the Girls, Money Train, Pulp Fiction, Training Day, Miami Vice, The
Taking of Pelham 123, Shawshank Redemption, Safe House, Django, Two Guns, Safehouse, Creed, Central
Intelligence, Creed II)
15) Explore Black Love as reconstructed in cinema (i.e. Lady Sings the Blues, A Warm
December, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Love Jones, Boomerang, A Thin Line
Between Love and Hate, Jason’s Lyric, What’s Love Got to Do with It, Waiting to
Exhale, Love Jones, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Preacher’s Wife, Why Do Fools
Fall in Love, Love and Basketball, Disappearing Acts, Why Did I Get Married, Why Did I Get Married II, Deliver Us from Eva, Boomerang, Something New, Jumping the Broom, Southside with You, Fruitvale Station, Moonlight)
16) Examine the evolution of the drug dealer onscreen (Superfly, New Jack City, Juice, Menace II Society, Boy z
‘n theHood, Straight Out of Compton, Sugar Hill, Hustle and Flow, American Gangster, Fruitvale Station)
17) Examine black westerns in cinema (i.e. Buck and the Preacher, Posse, Wild Wild West, Django)
18) Examine black female camaraderie as transformed on the screen (i.e. Set It Off, Waiting
to Exhale, Soul Food, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Dream Girls, The Help, Girls Trip, Hidden Figures,
19) Critically examine the works of a contemporary black filmmaker based on a guiding argument provided (i.e. Ryan
Coogler, Spike Lee, Bill Duke, Forest Whitaker, Julie Dash, Mario Van Peebles, John Singleton, F. Gary Gray,
Robert Townsend, Kasi Lemons, Carl Franklin, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry, Ann DuVernay, Gina Prince-Bythwood;
Malcolm Lee, Darnell Martin; Euzhan Palcy, etc.). Explore the impact of his/her works on the
African American screen image and spectators.
20) Examine black bio-films or bio-pics (Malcolm X, Dorothy Dandridge Story, Hurricane, Ali, Ray, Last King of
Scotland, Cadillac Records, The Butler, Forty-two, Race, Get On Up, What’s Love Got to Do with It,
Marshal, Henrietta Lacks, Hidden Figures, Last King of Scotland, Lady Sings the Blues, Detroit, Legend of
Bagger Vance, Hurricane, Nina, Twelve Years a Slave, Forty-Two, Dolemite Is My Name, Miles Ahead, Notorious, Harriet, Marshall, Green Book, All Eyez On Me, Leadbelly, etc).
21) Explore films that attempt to examine the issue of transgressing racial difference (Watermelon Man, Soul Man,
White Man’s Burden, True Identity, Bulworth, Human Stain, Devil in a Blue Dress, Belle)
22) Compare and contrast black exploitation films to “hood” films produced in the early 1990s (Boyz N the Hood,
Menace II Society, Juice, Sugar Hill, New Jack City, Straight Out of Brooklyn, Fruitvale Station, Straight Out of Compton, Superfly, etc.).
23) Examine African American history when transformed onscreen (Rosewood, Ghosts of Mississippi, Malcolm X,
The Tuskegee Airmen, Josephine Baker Story, Mississippi Burning, Lean On Me, Glory, Amistad, Medgar Evers Story, Four Little Girls, The Last King of Scotland, Red Tails, Django, Forty-two, The Butler, Twelve Years a Slave, Selma, Birth of a Nation, Detroit, Race, Django Unchained, Black Klansman, Loving, Hidden Figures).
24) Examine the African American athlete when transformed onscreen (Cooley High, Cornbread Earl and Me, Boyz
n’ the Hood, He Got Game, Hurricane, Jerry Maguire, Ali, Remember the Titans, Any Given Sunday,
Forty-Two, Race, Creed, Creed II)
25) Examine the African American novel/play/literary work when transformed onscreen (Devil in a Blue
Dress, Beloved, Waiting to Exhale, Color Purple, Once Upon A Time When We
Were Colored, Knock On Any Door, Native Son, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I Know
Why the Caged Bird Sings, Their Eyes Are Watching God, Disappearing Acts, Precious, The Butler, The Help, Precious, Fences, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Native Son, Twelve Years a Slave, etc.)
26) Examine the black male/female as a gangster/criminal (i.e. Hoodlum, Rage in Harlem, Jackie Brown,
Set It Off, New Jack City, Menace to Society, Boy z N the Hood, Hurricane, True Crime, Green Mile, Life, Idlewild, Hustle and Flow, Shadowboxer, American Gangster, Fruitvale Station, Proud Mary, Superfly)
27) Examine black presidents/leaders (Mandela and DeKlerk, Malcolm X, Head of State, Deep Impact, The Last King
of Scotland, Selma)
28) Examine the representation of African American athletes in documentary films (Hoop
Dreams, When We Were Kings, Jim Brown: All American Athlete, Race, Forty-Two, Ali, Creed, Creed II).
29) Examine black father/son or daughter relationships (i.e. Boy z N the Hood, He Got Game, Baby Boy, John Q,
Pursuit of Happyness, The Butler, Fruitvale Station, Creed, Creed II, Moonlight, etc.).
30) Examine the construction of race – whiteness/blackness (i.e. Bulworth, Jackie Brown,
Summer of Sam, American History X, Bamboozled, Remember the Titans, Crash, Lakeview Terrace, Black Snake Moan, The Blind Side, Shadowboxer, The Help, The Butler, Flight, Dear White People, Get Out).
31) Examine the neutralization of blackness in cinema (i.e. Deep Blue Sea, Bone Collector, Pelican Brief, Man on Fire,
The Help, Flight, Book of Eli, The Blind Side).
32) Examine black superheroes (i.e. Hancock, Seven Pounds, Book of Eli, Catwoman, Django Unchained, Black
33) Examine films that interrogate race and at the same time parody racial representation (i.e. Dear White People,
Bamboozled, Get Out, Loving, Dolemite is My Name, etc.)
ALL PAPERS MUST ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES:
1) Title page that includes the title of paper, full name, PID number
2) Typed and Double-Spaced/Times New Roman Style Preferred
3) Adhere to basic rules on Grammar and Style
4) Contain Footnotes or Endnotes (Parenthetical Documentation is accepta
5) Include Bibliography
6) Legible, Near Letter Quality or Better (Original Dark Copies)
7) Pages should be Numbered and in Correct Order
8) Please do not print paper on front and back