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Black White

Essay by   •  April 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,906 Words (8 Pages)  •  2,569 Views

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Death in Hollywood can end in two ways it can be glorified or it can be stigmatized, it can be "white" or "black". Richard Dyer includes an observation of the "White Death" as pure and simply memento with glorification of its creators. On the other hand, Arthur Jafa's My Black Death encompasses how black art, culture, and its stigmatized creators are abstract and taboo despite it radically changing art in its truest form. If I had the option to choose my death, then I would want to depart being admired, well loved and individual (which we all are); so I guess all that equates to a "white death". On a larger scale, I think everyone would choose a "white" death because no one wants to die as a lonely outcast. In movies filled with cinematic death, there is the dimming lights, sappy music, and the victim or actor's final action. The final action usually reads how they truly "died"; some looked shocked and others look at peace. Death is a tragedy regardless of the context, but the victim can represent either a hero's lost or a villain's cost, one death is honored as indignant and the other is viewed as senseless as its act. There is no doubt that a white person can suffer a "black death" with the conflict-filled movies of John Singleton's Four Brothers and Tony Scott's Man on Fire shows a black man suffering a "white death". These films show that in the twenty-first century we can observe the interrelationships between the characters and how each victim's death is justified.

According to Dyer, " The theme of whiteness and death takes many forms. Whites often seem to have a relation with death, to yearn for it but also to bring it to others"(208). I agree that the utter virgin essence of a young white girl is tempting to resist and flirting with death. Dyer continues to emphasize that in "In Victorian times, death- especially that of children, above all girls, - was seen as a fit subject for a painting...far more to do with beauty than tragedy...a pure ecstasy of death..."(208). This puts in context the strife of a young girl forces the viewers to fall in love with her beauty and form a connection to her throughout the suspense of her endangerment and rescue.

The opposite view lies with Arthur Jafa belief only in two instances has black aesthetics had radically redirected Western art: when African "art" was first introduced to Europe, and again when jazz erupted in the Western art scene. This relates to the "black death" because this death is enjoyed while it is alive, but once it is finished its history and legacy disappears with it. The main reason this is, is because the creators are not white and pure as in "white death", these are black and abstract creators sacrificed in vain. Like Pita, Evelyn Mercer, is the white haired older angel who raises four boys without prejudice or abuse. She "corrected" every wrong in their lives.

Young Pita and Creasy in director Tony Scott's Man on Fire share a relationship that is unconditional and loyal, yet filled with danger and excitement. Pita is the daughter of a Mexican aristocrat and Houston born beauty that seek Creasy to protect their daughter due tot eh high kidnapping rates in Mexico City. Creasy is a black male with a hidden past that obviously forced him to put up an emotionless faÐ*ade and even attempt suicide. That past is being a well-respected professional hit man with a hard center. Pita was his joy that cracked his hard center and filled it with love for her. While at lunch, they have a discussion:

Pita: Do you have a girlfriend, Creasy?

Creasy: What?

Pita: Do you have a girlfriend?

Creasy: No. What kind of question is that, anyway? You're supposed to be studying history, okay?

Pita: It is history... Creasy history.

Creasy: No, that's ancient history.

The Four Brothers directed by John Singleton is filled with drive-by shootings and face-to-face murder. With the midst, four adopted non-biological brothers, two white and two black reunite at their late surrogate mother's funeral. There is Bobby, the older white wise guy; Jeremiah, the older black brother married with kids; Angel is the younger black playboy; and Jack, who is believed to be gay, is the younger white brother. The relationship setup is as follows: Bobby was very protective over his younger brother Jack.

Bobby: Take care of my baby.

[hands Angel a gun and starts to close the trunk]

Jack: Wait. What - what do I get?

Bobby: [hands Jack a crowbar] Here ya go, sweetheart, poke 'em with this.

Jack: [insulted] Thanks.

Bobby: You're welcome

Jack is assumed to be molested in his previous foster home. So Bobby accepts his brother's unspoken homosexual behavior, despite being a hard chauvinist. Jeremiah and Angel don't exchange much dialogue, but their actions prove the opposite. They wrestled in many scenes to show their brawny affection. Angel was the wild one with a Latina hothead for a girlfriend, while Jeremiah was a good husband and father. Each brother appreciates each other based on the teachings of their white, haired angel, and their love for each other.

Angel: Hey, man, you know, me and Sofi did a lot of making up last night. But, uh, I think I might have a little rust on my powertool.

[starts to take off his pants]

Bobby: Whoa! Hey, man, don't show that shit to me. Show it to the cock-ologist over there in the shower.

Jack: [leaning his head out of the shower and looking at Angel's crotch for two seconds] Rug burn.

This dialogue shows Angel as suspecting something wrong with the appearance of his penis although he is monogamous to his girlfriend. Bobby refers him to Jack in a loving way as a "cock-ologist" implying that his gay brother has seen many penises or practiced fellatio. I personally feel Jacks past should never be a laughing matter to anyone, Bobby included. These brothers are so bonded they do not judge each other's past and are comfortable with one another.

No one is able to tap into intimate

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