Ethnic Notions: Unit 6 Assignment 1 by Alec Stimac

! : People were easily influenced by Jim Crow, which lead to a long history of bigotry and racist imagery. The self-image of the African American community has continued to be affected due to the aftermath these performance pieces caused, leading to twisted forms of the same stereotypes in modern day. The indirect wounds caused by the images of coons, pickaninnies, and more were just as painful as the numerous lynchings the African American community had suffered through. The film, “Ethnic Notions,” pulls out the experience and pain through its examination of these “art” forms, which was then used for entertainment during the antebellum period of the civil rights movement. Performance art can have different meanings for different audiences.

? : How does societal/human consciousness of identity (i.e. race, sexual orientation, gender, nationality, etc.) contribute to the interpretation of abstract performances and artwork? What factors in society have contributed to these values and prejudices to be in the forefront of somebody’s understanding of these pieces of art? In other words, did groups of people understand the political significance of their decisions regarding their performance styles and representations of other groups of people (especially in relation with stereotyping)? How has this changed over the course of history (how has it changed form)?

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