27 October 2010

Op-Ed: Keep the People Ignorant and Happy

Youth and the Media

My research usually focuses on the portrayal of African people on a global scale, and since Africans on the continent and the Diaspora are continuing to suffer economically, politically, spirtually, and socially we must realize this re-defined idea of "One Love" cannot be established until we understand the importance of "One Black Love". African people everywhere have suffered from identity issues that we are oftentimes afraid to admit, or are totally ignorant to. African women and men throughout the world are subconsciously reminded of their subordinate positions in society and in the height of what we like to call a "globalized world".Those of African descent who claim not to have these issues oftentimes belong to a higher social class, or have had little to no interaction with the "other" in their communities. We like to pretend that everything is okay, so we do not have to deal with the pain, but the pain will never go away, only take new formations [i.e. skin bleaching, hair relaxers, colored contacts, rhinoplasty, etc.].

The commercial uses strong sexuality in order to create ethnic and social tolerance among young people. Sexuality is often used as a catalyst for social change, and the change usually ends there with the result being multiracial children and no solid proof of social unification. It seems as though the youth of today are much more 'tolerant' of one another, but I would definitely argue that this new trend created by mainstream media forces people in the western world to believe that they have in some way healed themselves from the effects of hundreds of years of deliberate segregation and European male domination. This commercial for the DJHero 2 video game is no exception.

The artform of DJing was created by people of African descent and has been enjoyed by youth of various ethnicities, religions, and social classes worldwide. I always seem to find it interesting that African music, the music of oppression and redemption, is always the soundtrack to major social movements [good or bad]. Until the historical context of these aspects of media are understood, no true change can be accomplished.

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