(Student’s Full Name)
Reflective Essay on Hidden Colors 1 and Hidden Colors 2
I believe that the above quote encapsulates the message that the presenters of the documentaries, Hidden Colors 1 and Hidden Colors 2 desire to send the African community, especially members of that community who are based in America. The presenters as well as the director of the film series, Tariq Nasheed, intend to educate African descendants of their history and origin. In addition, these experts intend to inform them of the systematic operation of racism, and how it is used to by oppressors, who are of European descent to control or even eradicate who they consider as the lesser race. It is my personal belief that Hidden Colors 1 and Hidden Colors 2 uncover and unearth the ‘hidden’ references of the influences of people of color throughout history as well as the ‘hidden’ forms of oppression with which they have to contend.
I found it particularly interesting in that Tariq Nasheed highlighted the point in the first of the documentary series, Hidden Colors, that the Women’s Liberation Movement during the sixties affected the black male image. Nasheed said that before the Women’s Liberation Movement it was easier for both black men and black women to focus on racial segregation, but with the advent of the Women’s Liberation Movement some of the women branched off and started to fight for gender equality. The director explained further that this was caused by the government of the United States referring to women as “minorities” in 1964. I then arrived mentally at the conclusion that African-American women began to believe that fighting for women’s rights and racial equality was one and the same thing since African-Americans and women were labeled by the American society as minorities. I also found it particularly interesting that it was suggested by Nasheed that this caused a division within the black family. Admittedly, this challenged some of my personal beliefs as it pertained to the feminist movement. I had no idea or personal inclination that the Women’s Liberation Movement was used as a tool of dividing and conquering, as implied by Nasheed. Another presenter also underscored the point that the Women’s Liberation Movement did not create unity between black women and white women. She also highlighted the point that the Women’s Liberation Movement was a fight between herself and the white man, and then black women felt obligated to take on that fight on themselves. Dr. Frances Cress Welsing noted that black pediatricians are beginning to acknowledge of the epidemic of over- feminization of young black boys. She also talked about how systematic racism ensures that the black man’s masculinity is reduced or undermined to ensure that he becomes like a woman in the event that his masculinity is a threat to the dominant race, which is the Caucasian race in the case of the American society. She also talked about the author Neely Fuller, who was the first to communicate the idea of racism being a system. He also suggested that the system of racism will be so developed that it will cause black men to wear dresses. Fuller suggested this during the late seventies. Dr. Welsing is now confirming that black men in colleges have to be told to not wear dresses, high heels, and handbags at colleges, such as Morehouse College, which is an all black college for men. Dr. Welsing also noted that the hanging down of the pants is a “subconscious invitation” for homosexuality. The expert noted that this is a psychological process which young black men go through as they gradually draw down the pants until they come out of the pants altogether. Dr. Welsing’s words can be interpreted as being homophobic but, at the same time, a person who has been a victim of racial hatred can understand the systematic nature of racism. I note that it is easier for a black man to end up in behind bars than a white man who has committed the same crime in America. There are more black men who are incarcerated than white man as indicated by the presenters on the second documentary of the series. It appears as if racism in America is intended to firstly attack the black man who is supposed to be the head of the household. I acknowledge that presenters from both documentaries acknowledge that. The black man is the one who is to protect, provide for, and preserve the family. Therefore, it makes sense that a racist society, who is opposed to anything that resembles blackness, will want to attack the protector and the provider of that race by attacking his masculinity. Consequently, systematic racism ensures that the black man has no economic power or means to provide for and protect his family. Furthermore, when the black man’s masculinity is attacked and easily incarcerated for the rest of his life for minor offences then that causes disunity in the black family.
A lack of cohesion in the black family would lead to a lack of cohesion in black communities, thereby ensuring that whites are always placed in the position of dominance. A presenter in Hidden Colors 2 noted that because black communities are plagued by a lack of cohesion and are disorganized African-Americans do not have the economic power and means to make a significant impact within the American society. This presenter also highlighted the point that marches and protests do very little unless African-Americans are able to aggregate their resources in order to make a meaningful impact in the American society.
In conclusion, my reflection on the movies, Hidden Colors 1 and Hidden Colors 2 have caused me to arrive at the conclusion that systematic racism is intended to destroy the African-American family institution so that the African-American communities can be destroyed. This will then ensure that African-Americans are always disempowered and kept in the position of a minority American society without any influence. As a result, the filmmaker saw the importance of creating these two films so that solidarity can be achieved among African-Americans to effectively and successfully fight against racism in America.
Nasheed, Tariq, dir. Hidden Colors 1. Perf. Sabir Bey, Booker T. Coleman, Umar Johnson, Tariq Nasheed, Phil Valentine, Frances Cress Welsing. King Flex Entertainment, 2011. Film.
Nasheed, Tariq, dir. Hidden Colors 2. Perf. Sabir Bey, Booker T. Coleman, Umar Johnson, Tariq Nasheed, Phil Valentine, Frances Cress Welsing. King Flex Entertainment, 2011. Film.
Nasheed, Tariq. “Hidden Colors Storying the Black Male Image Finale Copy.wmv.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 Nov. 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_fkb5BpIf0&list=PLD611C36EB36727CC&index=6>.