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Iowa State University

African American

Communication

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Contemporary Portrayals Of Blacks And Mixed-Blacks In Lead Roles: Confronting Historical Stereotypes Of African Americans On The Big Screen, Melissa Ann Garrett Jan 2017

Contemporary Portrayals Of Blacks And Mixed-Blacks In Lead Roles: Confronting Historical Stereotypes Of African Americans On The Big Screen, Melissa Ann Garrett

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study examines portrayals of lead characters played by black and mixed-black men and women in four contemporary top-grossing box office films released from 2010-2015. The qualitative textual analysis assesses whether leads played by black or mixed-black people conform to or stray from Hollywood’s historical messages that have allowed for racial and gender inequalities on screen. By cross-analyzing characters in terms of genre and gender and forming an understanding of how each character functions in their respective narratives, my analysis identified four major themes. Lead characters played by black and mixed-black people are shown a) having broken or absent ...