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Black Masculinity in Two Films

This is because the ideology of America during that era produced attitudes in whites that mirror those in the film, attitudes that are a brutally honest reflection of American society of that time and produce MalcolmĂs brand of black masculinity that resents and hates whites. Yet, director Spike Lee does not glorify all blacks at the expense of whites. In one scene Malcolm is asked by a white girl who believes in his philosophy what she can do to help. MalcolmĂs punch-like response is ˘Nothing÷ (Lee, 1992). Yet, instead of leaving us with this visceral image, Lee shows us the hurt on the girlĂs face as the final image. It is a harbinger that in future Malcolm will feel differently and will have an answer for her.

Such a shift occurred in society toward African Americans by the time of Denzel Washington and his film Antwone Fisher. As the film begins, Fisher is originally violent and hostile, similar to the behaviors of Malcolm X in many ways. However, such expressions of black masculinity are no longer acceptable and only undermine black development and expression. These self-destructive expressions of masculinity change once Antwone realizes this. Still, Antwone cannot cope with anger or stress. When he is confronted with them he resorts to violent outbursts and fistfights. Ordered to see a navy psychiatrist due to this problem of coping, Antwone tells him he fights because thatĂs the only way some people lear


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Black Masculinity in Two Films. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:26, October 24, 2014, from
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