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“Black is… Black Ain’t” by Marlon Rigg’s

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Is a complete annotation of the black experiences in America. Throughout the article, Riggs bring out the fact that there is no particular explanation for being black. The film narrates that blackness exists in its multiplicities; the film discourages the common belief that African Americans could be categorized and stereotyped to a singular meaning. Also, the film touches on a number of topics surrounding the black community in America such as the rich history of the black community, the upsurge of the African American community, masculine assembly and its impact on the discernment of the black relations and also males and ladies of currently. The following article seeks to decipher the arguments brought forward by the author and an analysis of the film.

As Riggs documentary unfolds, an ongoing thematic theme becomes conspicuous and visual symbolism takes center stage. In the opening few minutes, Riggs says how he adores his Big Mama’s gumbo, because “it has a little bit of everything in it”, this story does not only show the real black identity but also the savory state that defines the African American identity. This gumo metaphor is employed by Riggs to portray the multiplicities of the African American culture and all the diversities that come from the black culture. Another argument brought forward by Riggs is homophobia; he continuously expresses his concerns on how the heterosexuals are often isolated from critical discussions and in most cases not identified with the black culture. This film focuses mainly on the African American identity. Marlon showcases the plethora of black identity that ranges from economics, men, women, straight, gay, and so on.

From Marlon’s film, he strives to put out what it means to be black in a modern America and what accompanies the gender expectations from the black Americans. It is an assumption from his works that modern America operates under the notion that western postmodernism agrees to open up to a change in positions between those who assume to be marginalized and those who are centered. The film aims at focusing on the richness of the black identities, from this representation, the cultural perception of a more inclusive, larger and communal identity of blacks takes a center stage. The antiquity and the rise of the African American male-controlled construction, however, it is becoming hard to generalize accurately the larger community. The black identity is also seen in the article on how Marlon tackles the issue surrounding the cultural oppression and patriarchy of the black women even more pronounced on the dominating families. Black falsity arises from the perceived desire to dominate and subdue femininity outcome. From the interviews of the homosexual African Americans, ostracized for lack of conformity to the heterosexual expectations.

From the film, it portrays the fear of how heterosexual characters divide the black culture. During self-reflection, Riggs enquires from a section of Inglewood youths to define “black manhood”, apparently most of them have no idea and are misguided, one says that they had no idea, in the film, the detrimental effects of “hood, black culture” recurs stressing the inter African American division. The film also stresses on the idolized values that are damaging the hood mentality, leading to misinterpretation of what exactly is meant by being black who is to impressionable African American youth. Marlon Riggs denounces the popularly advanced black identity culture as being “highly sexual and patriarchal” as regressive expectations that should not be positioned on the African-Americans as this only advanced group discrimination and racism. Through representing a more expansive representation of African Americans, the film dismantles the unnecessary generalities and expectations inhibiting the creation of a bigger black identity.

As the black community scrambles for a strong foundation that will be used to identify them, they battle stereotypes, a failure to identify that the black color does not come with identifiers such as physical appearance or the sexual orientation of an individual.  The gumbo metaphor can be transposed in the intellectual analysis offered by Stuart Hall on cultural identity, from the Rigg’s exploration, he uses the grandmother as a metaphor to bring out the multiplicities that exist in the African Americans. A number of speakers also express their agony for having been hushed since they were superficial as not black adequate or controversy of being too black.

Another argument that is brought forth by this documentary is homophobia, Rigg’s comes out strongly encouraging his sexual orientation by asserting how being gay or straight is an orientation and one should not be judged or viewed differently because of their sexual orientation. in most instances the LGBT are often left out when identifying the blackness of an African American citizen, Rigg’s fight this notion of excluding the LGBT’S in the identification of African Americans, he puts himself as an example of an LGBT’s through openly talking about the difficulties that the LGBT community goes through whenever they try to be identified as black. The sexual orientation also plays a critical role in dividing the black community with a majority of the blacks distancing them from the gay stunt with a slogan of “True niggas ain’t faggots” by Ice Cube. The film hints on a number of themes linking to the black communal, but overall, the underlying subject comes out that in the midst of multiple factors that can disintegrate the black community, the multiplicity and versatility brings out the solidarity on the identity of the blacks outweigh the differences that the black community might be suffering from.

This textual is quite dissimilar from the outmoded documentary; this is because the instructor inserts himself in the documentary. Marlon Riggs participates in this movie, the rush to finish the film is portrayed going against the precarious health, different interviews with him in the hospital and even when the film begins he is shown in the woodlands. Riggs passed on in April 1994 at age 37 and suffered from AIDS, common with the homosexual and African American communities; he also talked about the similarities between black history and AIDS. The film was completed by his colleagues Nicole Atkinson and Christian Badgely with strict adherence to Riggs notes. In conclusion, Black is…Black Ain’t is a textual that digs deep to the African American culture that incorporates black gay community, the differences in the black culture is also presented as the multiplicities and uniqueness that only cements the diversity and inclusion of the African American and cannot in any way act as a breaking point to a community with a rich source of history.

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