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Boyz 'N The Hood -Brenna Munoz

While many teachers frequently use films based upon real historical events as tools for educational purposes, Stoddard and Marcus, in the reading entitled “The Burden of Historical Representation: Race, Freedom, and 'Educational' Hollywood Film,? argue that the use of Hollywood Films in classrooms may be problematic and should be used cautiously in order to avoid naïve misunderstandings. Stoddard and Marcus make an extremely valid point, and I agree that if not used appropriately, certain Hollywood Films used as educational tools may not always be beneficial to students and give them a skewed idea of certain issues, particularly those revolving around racism. For example, when watching the film Boyz 'N The Hood, many students, especially younger audiences, are not always completely media literate which may lead them to over generalize African Americans as the way they were portrayed in the film, and assume that all African Americans live lives such as "Tre" and "Doughboy". As a result, many teachers, instead of reinforcing the roles of different cultures and providing the desired perspective of the problems of racial issues throughout history, may actually be further contributing to this continuous cycle of racial biases within the students themselves.

It is extremely important for the students to understand that most all media is Market-driven. Due to this market driven attitude, many Hollywood films, even if based on actual historical events, are not always completely accurate and often include many fabrications in order to make it more entertaining and appealing to various audiences. As a result, it may not always be in a teacher’s best interest, particularly those of Middle and High school students, to use Hollywood Films in the classroom as educational tools. If used, the film should be accompanied by thorough discussion of the possible misconceptions of media and the importance of holding a critical viewpoint in order to avoid naïve misunderstandings.