Cultural suppression or promotion of black culture? Remember culture was segregated. For instance there were no white actors in black movies or white singers in black clubs. Without those guys in blackface promoting black culture then black culture would never have become so prominent in today's soceity.
That is a fantastic devil's advocate argument, I approve. That being said I would say it was cultural suppression because the characters were almost always incomplete and promoted very negative stereotypes of blacks being savage and animalistic/unintelligent etc. It wasn't like they were celebrating black culture, they were just refusing to cast black actors as black characters because they didn't want to be around them.
I think it was more a case of their target audience. Remember at least 1/3 of the country were in the KKK at one time.
Right, but that doesn't excuse the action.
Doesn't it? Why make a movie that you can't make money on. If you look at the history of movies and music you see it's been a hundred years of slowing introducing black culture, music and non-white actors and black artists and thats before non-white were given actual strong leading roles let alone being allowed to play any non-white role. There was always a white man playing an African, native American or Arab.Elvis is sometimes condemned for appropriating black culture but in fact he promoted it to white audiences who had never heard black music and they started listening and purchasing black music.
I would say it doesn't because the individual is still responsible for their actions even if the group is morally deficient. Making money isn't a morality guide its a profit guide.Elvis I have no problem with, again actually using the music and culture and doing your own interpretation would be ok but Elvis claiming he invented it himself or had no influence from African Americans would be an obvious lie. Art and culture aren't stagnant and that kind of cultural crossing over is important, it should go both ways though.
The problem there is that increasingly, we're seeing people get accused of disrespect for things that have perfectly innocuous intent. I doubt the girl who wore a traditional Chinese dress to her prom, or Jamie Olliver with his Jamaican sauce were intending to be derogatory, but their actions were held up as equally disrespectful regardless.
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