Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Analysis on Race (Black) and Representation in Media This paper seeks to analyze race (black) as it is represented in the media, using Lil Wayne’s Lollipop music video as a case example. This paper discusses the media representation of black males, which affect the public attitudes and perceptions towards them, and also the perceptions that they want the viewer to have of them…
While the society has made giant strides towards toppling black discrimination and segregation, significant barriers still remain, reinforced by perceptions created in the media. This paper will look at how these perceptions are perpetuated, especially in music videos in the mass media. The video begins at what looks like Lil Wayne’s residence, and features static Major as his house guest. They seem to be preparing for a night out and are sprucing themselves up in front of a mirror, adjusting their gleaming jewellery and enquiring from each other on how they look. After they are done with their preparations, they leave the house and board an International TXT limousine. They are ushered into the limousine by a scantily clad woman who gives them a secretive glance. Once in the limousine, they seem surprised to find it filled with seemingly intoxicated and similarly scantily clad women. They proceed to make themselves comfortable among the women, who seem to be taken in by the two men, with Lil Wayne rapping along and miming to the song’s lyrics. They drive through Las Vegas and Lil Wayne also climbs to the top of the car to play a guitar. Stereotyping of black males in videos acts to serve various purposes, especially motivational and cognitive (Park et al. 159). A desire for the justification of the status quo acts to give life to activation and formation of stereotypes. Stereotyping in the media industry is as a result of the need to give information on the featured characters and to show the audience what to expect of the actions of the character. The media portrayal of black males, especially in music videos, creates an impression of what the society associate them with. In Lil Wayne’s Lollipop video, he is seen dressed in expensive clothing with overly extravagant jewellery. The image created from this video plays on the stereotype of black, ignorant characters, which Lil Wayne seems to enjoy portraying and thus creates an impression that he is that stereotype. This, in turn, creates an impression in society that all rich black males live in that manner. Society at large then expects this same characterization, in real life, and this becomes a handicap to African Americans since they will be gauged using these same stereotypes, in job interviews and elective posts. It is not uncommon to see covertly racist media adverts, which play on these stereotypes, during elections, since this stereotype has already been endorsed, by powerful rappers, who have a lot of influence, in the African American society. African Americans are, therefore, not treated as seriously as other candidates in elections, and job interviews, where the interviewers may not have had close contact with African Americans, thus have their opinions formed by the stereotypes depicted in the videos. Representation of black males in music videos consists of exaggerated racial portrayals identifiable as parodies of stereotypes (Park et al. 161). Most music videos will have black males from the ghetto wearing gang colours and flashing gang signs. While this is possible, gang affiliations are a crime in America and thus this can be misinterpreted to show African American young men as violent and unrepentant of the pain caused by gang wars. The media industry is flooded with representations of black males as members of ...
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