My Texts

Wrongful Portrayal

Yessenia Alvarez-Vera
Professor Dr. De Freece
English 101
13 February 2015
Wrongful Portrayal
Is the media instilling beliefs in our society? In the article “Teaching Resistance: The Racial Politics of Mass Media” Bell Hooks expresses her concern about white supremacy messages through the media. Society has been controlled through subliminal messages for many years. Although the times have changed the messages are still there. In some television programs and movies the black character may be the lead star, but it is insinuated that the character is a negative person, has a dramatic story line, or the characters social status never changes.
Through the years black characters have become lead stars in some television programs such as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) where Will Smith plays a young teenager who lives in West Philadelphia with his single mother. The teenager gets into lots of trouble and his mother sends him away to his wealthy uncle in Bel-Air. Although many of us laugh with this comedy there are subliminal messages being sent here. The teenager comes from a home of a single mother, which sends the message that an African American boy is most likely from this type of home. The show starts by showing the boy getting into a fight while playing basketball, which insinuates black boys that play basketball are violent. Once Will arrives at his uncle’s home the show seems to be a natural comedy. But if you really look for the subliminal messages they will stick out. The family has a butler who is black; you do not see the family having a white maid. This insinuates that the help is always black. Carlton and Hillary who are Will’s cousins are very conceited. The subliminal message is that if you are a black person with money then you are an arrogant person. Another observation that I made was in an episode where Will locates his father; he makes plans to see him and is disappointed when the father never shows up. The subliminal message here is that…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *