Louisiana Universities Explore Use of ‘Racist Tropes’ in ‘Black Horror Film’


The professor cites the “sacrificial Negro” as an example of a “racist trope”.

Expert panelists from Louisiana State University and Loyola University New Orleans recently discussed the issue of “racist tropes” in “black horror movies.”

“Looking in a Mirror: How Black Horror Film Supports Racist Tropes” is part two of LSU’s three-part series on racism. The “Racism: Dismantling the System” series kicked off in early September and will run through mid-November. The next topic is how to talk to the elect.

college correction spoke to Professor Loyola Ty Lawson, who hosted the October 25 event, about some of the tropes. He is Professor of Race and Culture in Media at Catholic University.

“The ‘sacrificial Negro’ is a constant racist trope in horror movies – the symbolic black character or characters being killed off,” Lawson said. The fix by email. “Throughout the history of the horror film genre in America, racial minorities have not received as much representation as white people and have often been relegated to lesser roles compared to white characters.”

“The history of racism in the horror genre then portrayed black men as monstrous or extraterrestrial,” the professor said. The fix. “Black women are often seen as best friends, mystics or suspicious servants. The role of mystics in horror movies is mostly attributed to black women, and their sole purpose is to serve their white counterparts until they are no longer needed.

“No matter how crucial these characters are to the survival of the story’s protagonists, they are usually killed once they have achieved their goal,” Professor Lawson said.

However, some black filmmakers use horror films to spark discussions about racial issues.

“We see what is done for [racist tropes] with films such as ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’ subverting gender and using it as social commentary to discuss race,” Lawson said. The fix. “Filmmakers like Jordan Peele use horror as a way to express real, deep-rooted fears about racism and race relations. They take a subject that some find uncomfortable to talk about and shamelessly incorporate it into everyday conversations.

The Oct. 25 virtual discussion aimed to “investigate the popularity of black horror films and discuss the danger of plots and scripts that perpetuate harmful stereotypes of BIPOC people as disadvantaged or oppressed” with expert panelists, according to a statement from LSU press.

Director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour gave the example of a film focusing on black stories and promoting themes familiar to black audiences such as “family drama”.

“Every other racial or non-black filmmaker gets a little more leniency when it comes to theme and subject matter, and for whatever reason, when we’re given a movie or a TV show or any other great opportunity , race seems to be a big factor,” Osei-Kuffour (illustrated) said at the event.

The director shared that he was able to speak subtly about race issues in the film, while also focusing on other important mental health issues.

“I didn’t go out to make a colorblind movie, I really wanted [the main character] Nolan to be black,” he said. Viewers will recognize how Nolan is treated differently for being black, the director said. But the film wasn’t openly about racism, the director said.

The films regularly contain tropes, whether it’s evil Russians, stereotypical versions of Italians or portraying black people as acting and being “silly”, a panelist said at the end of the event.

“In horror, if you have sex, you will die. [If you’re] black, you die in the first scene. Whenever there are inequalities, new tropes are constructed for the same people,” actress Geretta Geretta explained.

The fix contacted LSU via email asking what to do with racist tropes in horror movies, but received no response.

AFTER: University apologizes for operetta it performed 11 years ago

IMAGE: Louisiana budget proposal/Facebook

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