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Re-framing Crime, Violence, and Poverty: new cinematic narratives of Black criminality in Imperial Dreams

Introduction: reframings

Redmond (2017) has noted that, in order to garner support for the punitive policies of the War on Drugs, Americans were presented with stories that framed those impacted by the war on drugs as enemies of the state. In the 1980’s, media outlets released a surge of stories covering the “crack crisis” that presented crime and drug use with a black face. Stories presented black males as “gangbangers” and played on historical stereotypes of black men being dangerous, predatory, criminals (Alexander 2012).

Films on the experience of inner city black Americans also reflected a negative image of these communities and their residents until around 1990. Before the 1990’s many films placed the blame for inner city problems primarily on the criminal actions of young black males (Alexander 2012, Brooks 1997).  For example, in the 1970’s, directors made movies about the experiences of black inner city Americans. These films were subsequently criticized for their exploitive depictions of urban black experience. This criticisms was in part due to the fact many of the these movies had white directors. This perception by commentators lead to the term “Blaxploitation” being coined in reference to films made in the era (Brooks 1997). Black character representation during this period was often as criminally deviant characters (Bausch 2013). It would be another 20 years before those subject to War on Drugs policy would start to be depicted as sympathetic characters (Brooks 1997).

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Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project

The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus, Week 28: Michelle Stewart, Towards Accomplices not Allies—in the Classroom and the Streets

The editors of Anthropoliteia are happy to continue an ongoing series The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project, which will mobilize anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice. You can see a growing bibliography of resources via our Mendeley feed.  In this post, Michelle Stewart, contributes with a piece titled, Towards Accomplices not Allies—in the classroom and the streets. 
 

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Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project, Pedagogy

The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus, Week 23: April Petillo on Being an Arrivant in the Classroom

The editors of Anthropoliteia are happy to continue an ongoing series The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project, which will mobilize anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice. You can see a growing bibliography of resources via our Mendeley feed.  In this entry,  April Petillo discusses stream of conscious Blackness, colonial unknowing, and academic realness.

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Image: Charles White’s “Awaken from the Unknowing” (1961).

I have been thinking about Blackness. Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project, Features, Pedagogy

The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus, Week 21: Maurice Magaña on Seeing Race and Citizenship in the U.S. through Ava Duvernay’s 13th

The editors of Anthropoliteia are happy to continue an ongoing series The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project, which will mobilize anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice. You can see a growing bibliography of resources via our Mendeley feed.  In this entry,  Maurice Magaña discusses seeing race and citizenship through Ava DuVernay’s documentary film, “13th.” 

13th

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Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project, Pedagogy

The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus, Week 20: Sameena Mulla on Policing Mental Health and Metzl’s The Protest Psychosis

The editors of Anthropoliteia are happy to continue an ongoing series The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project, which will mobilize anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice. You can see a growing bibliography of resources via our Mendeley feed.  In this entry,  Sameena Mulla discusses the entanglements of mental health diagnostic categories, policing, and criminalization. 

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Dontre Hamilton. Alfred Olango. Lavall Hall. Laquan McDonald. We say their names and are reminded of one recurring theme in the on-going discussion about racialized police brutality: the deadly confluences between mental health crises and the lethal force that meets them in police responses. Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter Syllabus Project, Pedagogy

The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus Project, Week 18: Avram Bornstein on the Statistical Geographies of Racialized Policing

The editors of Anthropoliteia are happy to continue an ongoing series The Anthropoliteia #BlackLivesMatterSyllabus Project, which will mobilize anthropological work as a pedagogical exercise addressing the confluence of race, policing and justice. You can see a growing bibliography of resources via our Mendeley feed.  In this entry,  Avram Bornstein discusses how mapping projects can reinforce problematic racial geographies.

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