Movie Analysis: School Daze

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Movie Analysis: School Daze

Movie Analysis: School Daze


This paper discusses spike lee's movie “School Daze”(De Paula 2009 45-214)." But even in Fanon's lifetime, a dialectical counter-movement had already begun as Whites discovered the beauty, mystery, and power of African art and African-American music. Elvis Presley and the Beatles were not the first performers who got their start by putting Black masks in front of their White faces and imitating the style and mannerisms of African-Americans. Frantz Fanon, the visionary Black psychiatrist, described how "The Wretched of the Earth" under the yoke of colonialism had repudiated their African identity and, with feelings of shame and inferiority, covered their "Black faces with White masks

Thesis Statement

Lee believes that Black audiences are starving for Black films -- films made by Blacks for Blacks.


Spike Lee, the most important African-American film-maker of his generation, is preoccupied with both sides of this dialectic: the shame of internalized oppression and the satisfaction of unselfconscious cultural exuberance. But discarding the "white mask" of acculturation is not a simple matter, as the struggle for Black pride and African-American identity makes clear. Most of Lee's films reflect his obsession with this problem of personal and collective identity.

His premise is certainly correct in the sense that African-Americans have rarely had the opportunity to see films in which the larger than life hero and heroine are Black. For almost a century, in the medium that more than any other has constituted the images of modern consciousness, Blacks have watched the members of their race presented in demeaning and humiliating roles that reinforce racist stereotypes. When major studios finally recognized the box-office importance of Black audiences, they gave them generic sex and violence with Black faces (Huey 2001 248-311). Lee certainly had a hunger to feed. Moreover, setting out in this direction made good artistic sense. He had a better chance of making authentic movies if, in addressing himself to Black audiences, he plumbed his own life experiences. That is exactly how Bergman, Fellini, Allen, and most of the other "auteurs" began.

Because Lee makes his movies for Blacks, there have always been problems for his White "cross-over" audiences. He has acknowledged how common it is for Black audiences to laugh and react out loud to his movies, while White audiences tend to sit quietly and squirm uncomfortably. Part of the problem is that White audiences do not always understand Black English -- the idiom and ...
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