Article Review 2 - Alec Charais
James Nadell in his article Boyz N The Hood: A Colonial Analysis discusses the films impact and value that was lost on the mainstream public. He does this by analyzing three factors of the issues the film addresses: â€śthe demoralizing effects of Euro-American racist capitalism on the material and psychosocial existence of the African American masses; the low intensity warfare waged by the Euro-American state apparatus against the Black liberation struggle; and drugs in African American communitiesâ€? (Nadell, 447).
This argument is supported by Nadellâ€™s discussion that blacks have been under the oppression of whites ever since the expansion of capitalism, thus creating a Third World in which blacks were forced into slavery and colonialism. This oppression has led to many of the issues still faced not only by blacks but all minorities such as â€ślife expectancy, infant mortality, median income, poverty levels, unemployment rates, and quality of educationâ€? (Nadell, 449). These are all issues that we discussed at length in class while watching Boyz N The Hood and American History X.
The violence illustrated in Boyz highlights the vicious cycle of violence and homicide that blacks faced in the inner city. Nadell feels that there are two reasons for this cycle, instrumental demand and racial self-alienation. His definition of instrumental demand is what most would understand at first glance, violence used to gain material or benefit. Racial self-alienation, however, refers to the hatred those under oppression feel towards others as a result of their situation. An example of this Nadell discusses is the black police officer who violently hated those of his own race.
The colonialism as a result reinforced the only capitalist idea for blacks under this social oppression, drug trade. Because narcotic trafficking was viewed as a black issue by white society, little was done by the government to deal with it. This further reinforced the idea that blacks were gangsters and were the corrupt, while it can be argued that the elitist white society that created this environment truly holds the blame. Nadell concludes, however, that while Euro-American colonialism led to this situation, the African American people are ultimately responsible to â€śremedy these maladiesâ€? (Nadell, 4611).
I liken Nadellâ€™s viewpoints of black society to depression. When one is in a state where they feel helpless, the idea that there are opportunities can seem impossible. Change and breaking the viscous cycle history repeats is incredibly difficult. Boyz N The Hood and American History X did an excellent job in discussing these challenges and how when in the moment change may not happen overnight. When change does happen for the positive, it is important that the new ideals are reinforced so that history may not repeat itself.