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Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons

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Mass Communication

Butler University

Contemporary rhetoric

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Remembering Radical Black Dissent: Traumatic Counter-Memories In Contemporary Documentaries About The Black Power Movement, Kristen Hoerl Jan 2014

Remembering Radical Black Dissent: Traumatic Counter-Memories In Contemporary Documentaries About The Black Power Movement, Kristen Hoerl

Scholarship and Professional Work - Communication

Contemporary rhetoric about race and racism has been shaped, in part, by popular films. Since the late 1980s and 1990s, Hollywood has provided a variety of what Kelly Madison refers to as "anti-racist-white-hero" films.1 Movies including Amistad, Cry Freedom, The Long Walk Home, Mississippi Burning, and Ghosts of Mississippi have routinely positioned white protagonists as civil rights heroes who win justice for the black community by punishing or humiliating white antagonists. Each film frames racial injustice as the consequence of closed-minded individuals, rather than as the outcome of the U.S. economic and political system. More recently, the motion ...