Pillars of Affective Strength

The women in Do The Right Thing are so stereotyped that their supposed allegories  dominate their identity to the point where character development is loss. Characters such as Mother Sister, Jade, and Tina (Mookie’s baby mama) all signify both stereotypes of women of color and work as prophetic storytellers for the men in their lives. Their dialogues and roles revolve around typical preconceived notions of women, meaning these women are usually forgiving, caring, and committed to the men and children in their life. Following these stereotypes up, these women also fulfill preconceived notions of women of color: they are bold in speech, strong, and stubborn. They especially exemplify these qualities when they are around the men in their lives. Mother Sister is always strong and stubborn with Da Mayor, Tina is always stubborn and bold with Mookie, and Jade is also always bold and stubborn with Mookie. The women offer interesting and different perspectives to their male counterparts but they are always seeped in “women of color stereotypes” that sometimes make their commentary less effective in message. For example, Tina will be screaming at Mookie so much that the viewer will pay less attention to what she is saying and more to her outward emotional appearance.

This could perhaps be the point though, that what they say is not so important as how they say it. I think Spike Lee likes the “aesthetics” of black women and finds a special comfort in their strength, how they don’t take nonsense from anyone. So much so that he wrote Mother Sister, Jade, and Tina’s roles for the purpose of providing specific kind of emotional support for the men in their lives.

 

 

The Black Body’s Resistance

Fred Moten, black philosopher and poet, speaks to the narrative of the black body in terms of objects and subjects. His book In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition highlights that “blackness” is an extension of a movement, a “testament” of “the fact that objects can and do resist.” Continue reading “The Black Body’s Resistance”

Bamboozled’s Film Color & Decor

 

Bamboozled Screenshot

A major aspect of Bamboozled that really stood out to me was the film’s use of color and decor, especially that which is in Dunwitty’s office. Dunwitty believes he is “blacker” than Delacroix because he has an African-American wife and is”bout it bout it.” Despite this belief, he is floored when Delacroix comes to him for the idea of an overtly racist minstrel show. I felt a scene that visually hammered home Dunwitty’s – as well as other character’s – true feelings towards the show can be found when Manray/Mantan tap dances on Dunwitty’s table (to his delight). By analyzing the characters’ wardrobe and placement in the scene, along with the photos of prominent African-American athletes and African artifacts fill Dunwitty’s office, we can gain a deep understanding of the range of emotions that Delacroix’s show is meant to evoke and how education in the history of black culture and can only mean so much.

Continue reading “Bamboozled’s Film Color & Decor”