Appropriated Identity

(10:30)

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.13.28 AM.pngThe scene that I chose was at the very beginning of the movie in which the character of Thomas is expressing/convincing his status as a white man who has the vernacular and personality that is “black”. I decided to discuss this particular scene because I feel as though this is a common occurrence in white communities, or even in urban communities where white people are the “minority”. The appropriation of black culture is on full display by Thomas as he claims to be more black than the black character Pierre. He explains his relationship to Black culture by claiming to be married to a black woman and having 2 kids with her, thus demonstrating an alternate to the “My friend is black” notion that is stereotypical exclaimed. Something I find interesting about this scene is that they are the only individuals in the room when these notions are being expressed. I believe Thomas only felt comfortable because of the level of “whiteness” Pierre demonstrates in his speech and gestures, as well as the obvious lack of someone who exhibits what society perceives as “blackness”. This dynamic is something we’ve discussed in class and is something I hope we have a chance to exchange perspectives a lot more.

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1 thought on “Appropriated Identity”

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post. Dunwitty is definitely guilty of “acting black” throughout the movie and he seems to be representative of a white person who will at times may “act black” as a way to reinforce his/her own whiteness. One thing that I think you would enjoy doing is a broader analysis of the artifacts Dunwitty has in his office. Dunwitty has countless African artifacts and his office is lined with photos of high-profile African American athletes. After all, in the scene you analyze, Dunwitty, in an effort to prove that he is “blacker” than Pierre, turns to his knowledge of black culture, quizzing Pierre on “who number 24 is.” We find out later that 24 is Willie Mays, an African American baseball player for the New York/San Francisco Giants.

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