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A Review on the 2002 Film, 10,000 Black Men Named George

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 916
  • Category: Racism

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Racism and the societal issues that root from it have long been considered as inexorable parts of the everyday American society. Long before the current peacefulness which the American society enjoys took place, there existed a clear and undeniable repression against the African Americans. This was considered as one of the most serious issues in the American society during that time and is still regarded as a serious threat that may again destabilize the current harmony and peace between the White Americans and African Americans.

As a result, this societal dilemma has become a popular genre of arts and literature which the aggrieved used to express their sentiments. Numerous books and films have been produced and released over the years which delve into the subject matter of racism and racial discrimination, and most of these works aim to open the consciousness of the Americans about the societal plague of racism which keeps on disrupting the peace and harmony between the white and black Americans. One of these works is the 2002 film, 10,000 Black Men Named George.

  1. Summary of Facts

10, 000 Black Men Named George is a depiction of the African Americans’ struggles in fighting for their oppressed rights during the 1920’s, a time in American history when racial discrimination against them was most prevalent while they were continuously denied of civil and economic rights. At that time, the Blacks would be commonly seen in the streets campaigning and shouting for equal rights to be implemented and for them to be treated as humans and eligible citizens of the U.S. just like the Whites.

The main protagonist of the film, Asa Philip Randolph also joins this campaign for equal rights in his own way. He is a railway car porter who works hard on gathering the thoughts and opinions of all the Black railway porters in his aim to fight for more peaceful and equal labor and race relations in America. Thus, the title of the film depicts a typical racial slur during that time as all black rail way porters are called by the name “George,” given them a unified identity. The movie also portrays the unjust treatment that the Black workers received from their employers despite their selfless hard work for long, demanding hours. The unfair working conditions such as low wages and undeserved maltreatment are the basic highlights of the film, together with the underlain message of the fight against racial discrimination.

  1. Issues

The movie basically delves into the societal problem of racism. However, it also addresses specific issues such as the following:

(1) Where did racism originate and what causes its persistence in the lands of America? This issue is reflected in the characters as they wonder about why such oppression and maltreatment happen to them and where they are rooted from.

(2) What impacts and implications does racism have on the future of the American society? This was demonstrated in the thoughts and worries of the characters as they try to think of the future of Black Americans in the U.S. and of the possible unfair treatment that they may still suffer in their country.

(3) Will racism in America ever end? This came from the depiction of their hopes and faith that someday, Americans will be able to preserve peace and harmony between the White and Black Americans.

  • Discussions

Over the years, numerous sociologists have tried to study racism and its roots; however, not one concrete explanation about its roots and real cause in the lands of the United States has been discovered. Nevertheless, all these studies agree that whatever causes racism, it will always be associated with aggressive behavior and abuse (Powell 1). This fact has been clearly reflected in the film 10,000 Black Men Named George. The film clearly presents the sufferings of the black Americans due to the unfair treatment of the society that deprives them of their rights and liberties. This is also the reason why racism has always posed a negative memory in the history of the United States. Just like other films which delve into the subject matter of racism and racial discrimination, 10,000Black Men Named George also says one thing about the existence of racism—it will always be inevitable as long as there is diversity in one society.

  1. Opinions

Although the history of racism in the United States can be regarded as one of the darkest parts of its past, I still consider it as learning experience for all the Americans. This experience has very well awakened them that judging by someone’s differences in terms of color, language, or race will only lead to worse cases of inequality, racial conflicts, and even wars. Hence, this film suggests that the world needs more peaceful and harmonious relations. I think this part of the United States’ history also considerably aided in building stronger and a much more stable society and relations between its people. However, although racism appears inexorable especially in very diverse nations like the United States, people just have to learn the value of respect to every human being’s individuality and rights, regardless of skin color, language, religion, gender, and race.

Works Cited

10,000 Black Men Named George. Dir. Robert Townsend. Perfs. Andre Braugher, Charles S. Dutton, Mario Van Peebles, Brock Peters, Carla Brothers. Paramount Pictures, 2003. DVD.

Powell, Thomas. The Persistence of Racism in America. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1993.

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