Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black America

Ismael Reeds article for the New York Times focuses on the response of African Americans to “Precious” much of which is negative. Firstly they feel as though it promotes the idea of racism to which he quotes Jill Nelson, an author who states “I don’t eat at the table of self-hatred, inferiority or victimization. I haven’t bought into notions of rampant black pathology or embraced the overwrought, dishonest and black-people-hating pseudo-analysis too often passing as post-racial cold hard truths.” This I feel can hardly be seen as racial motivated as the facts behind the novel such as the number of black AIDS sufferers and the higher numbers of black teenager pregnancies, to me it simply displays the facts for everyone to see and does not criticise but aims to centralise these issues in everybody’s minds regardless of race. It also goes on to say that the success of the film is based upon the ideas of white people “being comfortable with the stereotypes shown”. I feel it is difficult to feel comfortable about anything addressed in this film and do not feel that it is stereotyping African American as much of what Sapphire addresses in the film is inspired by real events. The issue of incest within the film he also criticises quoting from the National Center for Victims of Crime stating that “Incest does not discriminate. It happens in families that are financially privileged, as well as those of low socio-economic status. It happens to those of all racial and ethnic descent, and to those of all religious traditions,” but again this is based upon the environment Sapphire was working in which happened to be African Americans. It is fair to say that incest is not directly associated with African Americans and therefore I do not see that this is shown in a racial way. The article comes across very aggressive in its manner of addressing the issues and I find it difficult to agree with much of what he says however I’m not completely sure I’d feel the same was I myself black or of African descent.

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