From Tyler Texas to Tyler Perry
Hall, Terrence Eugene
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ABSTRACT Over the past seven decades, a transformation has occurred in the racial ideology of the United States, initiated by the successes of the Civil Rights Movement. What was once a coercive ideology has become hegemonic, or “colorblind.” Using Bonilla-Silva's concept of Racial Social Structure, this project analyzes the process of this transformation as it is reflected in the artistic production of African American film directors. I have developed a sample of 29 films in four eras from the late 1930s to the present (Race Films, Blaxploitation, Spike Lee, and Tyler Perry) as the basis for this inquiry into the ways in which the change in racial ideology becomes evident particularly in the solidarity of local African American communities and in the perception of the degree to which upward mobility, or Opportunity (assessment of racial barriers to economic participation and advancement), is possible.