The Effects of Media and The Perception of Race

            Does mass media have the ability to affect our perception on race? And if so, to what extent does it mold our thinking to fit the exact mold that it has set? What factors affect our perception of race and the definition of what a race should be? The essays in the book answer these questions, but I will also provide my own insight into answering these questions.

             What was most interesting about the essays was that they were written from very diverse perspectives on the effects of mass media on our perception of race. The first author looks at our perception from an African American point of view, or at least in my opinion, an African American point of view. Bell Hooks says that perception of blacks in the media distorts the societal perception of the roles of black people. She says that in the media black people most often seen as servants, unequal to their white counterparts. She says, "While superficially appearing to present a portrait of racial social equality, mass media actually work to reinforce assumptions that black folks should always be cast in supporting roles in relation to white characters.” She says that, while blacks have challenged the representations of blacks in the media, they have not challenged it enough because there are less negative representations that reinforce white supremacy. Hooks says that movies, which were created to "intervene in and challenge white supremacist assumptions”, were difficult to understand by some black and white people and often receive negative attention. Hooks says, "These films.demonstrate that film and mass media in general can challenge neo-colonial representations that reinscribe racist stereotypes and perpetuate white supremacy.” She says, "Until all Americans demand .

             that mass media no longer serve as the biggest propaganda machine for white supremacy, the socialization of everyone to subliminally absorb white supremacist attitudes and values will continue.

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