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Cabaret of Racist Purchased Identity: Banking on History in Lightning

  • Broadcast in Visual Arts
Phantom Gallery Chicago Network

Phantom Gallery Chicago Network


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Using racism as a consumer commodity, Birth of A Nation (1915) spurred drastically the resurgence of NAACP membership, the KKK, and Hollywood and had a stunning impact on real-world history.

From newly found justification to harass to the openly complimentary endorsement of then-president Woodrow Wilson, the revival of the KKK, lightning struck with the release of Birth of a Nation in 1915.
The reverberations are still felt today, and the film is still a devastating insight into still tense race relations today. From racist propaganda depicting the KKK riding in to save the South from Black rule during Reconstruction, showing free blacks as heathen savages while depicting the civility of whites, this film, and its embedded bigotry and racism ignited tensions that run high until today.
In 2018, have we debunked the lower form of life" myth propagated in film history for blacks? Does society still hold racist states of mind all the while giving a "thumbs up' to continued violence and devaluation of people of color? Why does racism still count as one of the world's largest commodities?