We would do well to remember that, while the widespread misrepresentation of Blacks and other groups, as well, in American film is a
serious matter, it should not be taken
. As Manthia Diawaras suggests in her book,
Black American Cinema
, these stereotypes
represent African Americans, Native Americans, or any other minority group. They must be regarded as representatives of White prejudice towards other groups. They reflect an
, vile though it may be, and not a reality. With each effort to reclaim our images and share our stories, these distorted reflections will continues to crack, until they finally shatter.
My hope is that the films and activities presented in the unit will leave young people better equipped with the skills necessary to look beyond the glittery facade of Hollywood and the slick, fast-paced packaging of television and understand the difference between what is fact, what is fiction, and what is reality.
This unit, The Eye Behind the Camera; the Voice Behind the Story is both a call and a response. It is a response to the misguided, deliberate, and systematic misrepresentation of minority groups within this country.. The process of excluding and marginalizing different groups has been a powerful means of denying them their rightful place in society. It is also a call to discover, and then redefine our stories, our cultural legacies, our images. It is a call for us to let
the voice behind our story and
eyes the eyes behind a camera which projects images that are objective, honest, and humane.