The Choice to Remove Black Stereotyping: A Comparison and Contrast Analysis of Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society

The Choice to Remove Black Stereotyping: A Comparison and Contrast

Analysis of Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society

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            It is in the movies that the public is oftentimes provided with clear manifestations and daring realizations of the plights of young urban black Americans - The Choice to Remove Black Stereotyping: A Comparison and Contrast Analysis of Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society introduction. A film’s honest portrayal of various significant issues involving the blacks, during their adolescence up to young adulthood periods, inevitably results into a demeaning phenomenon. That is, the young blacks are fundamentally stereotyped as people or members of the society who contribute nothing but disorders particularly crimes despite their preference to live a valuable and peaceful life.

It is unfortunate to note that the movie industry and its viewers fail to recognize that these young residents of black communities are themselves victims of circumstances. This is because they were unfairly associated with misdeeds hence provoking them to just carry out such negative labeling. The truth, however, is that the young urban blacks have an option to adhere to or deviate from said stereotyping. Therefore, while movies harmfully illustrate them, it is just a matter of choice for a teenage black to uphold righteousness over wickedness to become a vital member of the neighborhood or society.

            The said principle was successfully and effectively exemplified by the movies “Boyz n the Hood” in 1991 and “Menace II Society” in 1993. At the onset, it is evident that the two films similarly manifest the nature and struggles of young black Americans. In doing so, the two visual presentations depicted parallel and connected aspects of the lives of young blacks who are living and making their ways to survive the apparent and inevitable ills of their environment and culture.

            The similarities of the two movies are first attributed to the fact that they were both made by equally young directors. This made the films practically alike in the significant aspects of plot, setting, characters and most importantly the underlying message. Both John Singleton’s “Boyz n the Hood and the Hughes brothers’ “Menace II Society” carry the theme of the different struggles and angst in the lives of the young black residents of Los Angeles suburbs. In doing so, the two films depended on the moving, sincere and extra-ordinary characters of Tre Styles and brothers Doughboy and Ricky Baker as well as that of Caine Lawson in “Boy n the Hood” and “Menace II Society,” respectively (Singleton, 1991; Hughes & Hughes, 1993).

            Foremost of the resemblance between the two films, it is their identical and unmistakable portrayal, wherein the young black members of the society were type-cast in several evils of the neighborhood such as poverty, sex, drugs and crimes; that unfortunately made them of what they are now. Subsequently, the two movies were also alike in imparting to the public that the future lives of young urban blacks really depend on their decision whether to remain or get out of such damaging stereotyping. This is particularly manifested by Lawson when he said “I ain’t gonna end up like them” (Hughes & Hughes, 1993). Similarly in the Singleton movie, Styles and Ricky Baker opted to take an upright living rather than succumb to the evilness of their society unlike Doughboy Baker who chose to submit to hostility, drug, sex and crime which were offered by his neighborhood (Singleton, 1991).

            The only difference notable in the movies is the points of decision to change the labeling of young blacks. “Boyz n the Hood” immediately showed the choice to be good made by Styles and Ricky Baker and it just required the latter’s death for the bad Baker teen to realize his faults and the need to depart from the black label. In the other film, Lawson needs to live first in a stereotyped life before finally deciding to cease from such existence.

Black stereotyping in movies has proven to be an effective tool in making the public realizes the need to make life decisions. Ultimately, it is in such view that the two films have shown their purpose and essence making them commendable visual works.

References

Hughes, A. & Hughes, A. (1993). Menace II Society. USA: New Line Cinema.

Singleton, J. (1991). Boyz n the Hood. USA: Columbia Pictures Corporation.

 

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