A Critical Race Theory Approach to Understanding Cinematic Representations of the Mixed Race Experience

Kevin Escudero, Ethnic Studies

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This presentation focuses on the developmental trajectory of the portrayal of mixed race people in mainstream media. Primarily looking at film, but also analyzing other media texts such as photography, stand-up comedy and particular sub-genres of film (Disney, television series, etc.) this presentation seeks to understand the ways in which different forms of media have portrayed mixed race people pre and post-Loving. While much work has been done on the depiction of mixed race people in media post-Loving, there is a need for such work to be contextualized within the pre-Loving depictions of mixed race. Furthermore, very little attention has been given to the ways in which pre-1967 depictions of mixed race characters (e.g. the tragic mulatto) oftentimes reflect as well as perpetuated racist stereotypes of mixed race people. These depictions of mixed race people during the anti-miscegenation era are what I argue, has given rise to the utilization by mixed race people of multiple forms of self-expression available through various media in the post-Loving era.

10/5/10 CRG Forum: Mixed Race/Mixed Space in Media Culture & Militarized Zones
"A Critical Race Theory Approach to Understanding Cinematic Representations of the Mixed Race Experience," Kevin Escudero, Ethnic Studies

This presentation focuses on the developmental trajectory of the portrayal of mixed race people in mainstream media.  Primarily looking at film, but also analyzing other media texts such as photography, stand-up comedy and particular sub-genres of film (Disney, television series, etc.) this presentation seeks to understand the ways in which different forms of media have portrayed mixed race people pre and post-Loving.  While much work has been done on the depiction of mixed race people in media post-Loving, there is a need for such work to be contextualized within the pre-Loving depictions of mixed race.  Furthermore, very little attention has been given to the ways in which pre-1967 depictions of mixed race characters (e.g. the tragic mulatto) oftentimes reflect as well as perpetuated racist stereotypes of mixed race people.  These depictions of mixed race people during the anti-miscegenation era are what I argue, has given rise to the utilization by mixed race people of multiple forms of self-expression available through various media in the post-Loving era.