SCREEN-L Archives

October 1994


Options: Use Proportional Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
J Roberson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 28 Oct 1994 09:19:37 -0500
text/plain (33 lines)
I just thought I ought to add some of the reasons I object to a
definition of African-American culture.
Defining an African-American culture (or a Latino culture, or an
absurdly-broad "asian" culture) implies that there's a certain way to
be African American. It means that if you're African-American and don't
want to partake of that culture, you're gonna get a lot of grief from
both sides of the fence: other African-Americans who say you've sold
out and call you Uncle Tom, and the "dominant" culture that treats you
like they treat other African-Americans because of your skin color.
There is an African-American culture - a culture that has been observed to
be primarily one based on African-American traditions. But so long as there
is even one person of African-American descent who does not partake of
that culture, labeling it an "African-American" culture is a misnomer.
To point this back at the particular movie in question (Pulp Fiction): yes,
there are elements of the African-American culture in question. But Vincent p
partakes of it. Mia partakes of it (to what extent is debatable). It's
not a race-dependent culture - though I will agree that people not of the
dominant race (and in African-American culture, people with dark skin are
the dominant race - making them the dominant culture in what sociologist
would call a sub-culture (I guess, since I think that sociology is a silly
science anyway ;)).
Why can't we just let people be people? And if people make false judgements
about you - even if they are in your favor - why not correct them, through
words and actions, and define yourself as you like. Arguably, OJ did it.
Michael Jackson has certainly done it. Why can't we?
J Roberson