Interracial sex and marriage article review

At the period of casting and producing of The Birth of a Nation, the American film producers, film industry, and public was struggling with the representation of the white male masculinity, miscegenation, and racism. These events occurred in the wake of Jack Johnson (a colored man) defeat of a series of white men and a former champion, Jim Jeffries in an open boxing fight. The white population that constituted a large percentage of film consumers was finding it hard to come to terms with Johnson’s superiority in the ring while at the same time hopelessly beating their champion. Jim Jeffry represented the white male masculinity defeating Johnson. Jack’s open preference for white women did enrage the white population. In addition to beating up the white male, he was also taking their women, something that gave a connotation that he was threatening the white man’s order of dominance.
The burning of circulation of pictures and moving graphics of open fights involving white and colored fighters was an attempt to reduce the effect of a black man beating a white man in the public. Heightened racism occurred against the blacks due to the events. The birth of a nation reconstructed the representation of the white male masculinity by shifting the suffering of the white male due to black man’s aggression to white women. They created a fantasy of the fragility of a white man’s masculinity against the blacks. The film also depicted that white women and men suffered in the hands of a black man’s desire for power and white women.
If the film was reproduced in the current setting, it would most definitely receive a different representation. In the modern setting, the high level of democracy and human rights activism would not permit any race to receive a misrepresentation. The film would most probably show equality between a white man and a black man. Misrepresentations would cause an uproar among the anti racism activists. On the other hand, the film would depict marriage between white and black people as a common occurrence and not contrary to social expectations as seen in the previous periods. The audiences (now equally represented racially) would love to view a non-biased film.

Work Cited

Courtney, Susan. Hollywood fantasies of miscegenation : spectacular narratives of gender and race.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004