I'm trying to figure out how I could have an environment more conducive to studying and getting this paper written. I have exactly one week (assuming the paper is due by 5 p.m. but it's probably due much earlier than that) to finish and right now I have 4.5 out of 15-25 pages. Um... MOVE FASTER. I figured out if I write 2 pages per day, even skipping Saturday and Sunday I can be done in time but I want to be done earlier so I can have a couple of people read it. If you would like to volunteer to read it, let me know and I can email it to you. Preferably, people with some grammar skills and the ability to have intelligent opinions and can tell me which parts are good, which need to be fleshed out, etc. First, I need to find a focus. Right now it appears to be Struggles for Representation: Making Black Documentaries in a White World. Provocative title, right? And the paper so far is not quite as militant as the title which does and does not surprise me. I'm actually fleshing out my stance on the creation of black docs while writing this paper... me likey. See? You'll have to edit out stuff like that.
I'm kidding! I hope y'all don't think I got into a master's program saying me likey! Lol. So here's a teaser of my paper, copyrighted by me with all citations in this section from essays in the book Struggles for Representation.
The Bakers allude to an interesting parallel in mentioning, "the more his [the slave's] cultural forms differed from those of his master and the more they were immune from control of whites, the more the slave gained personal autonomy and positive self-concepts" (215). Upon reading this are we to then notice a similarity between the slave seeking to wrest some faction of his or her life from the slave master and the black filmmaker seeking to wrest funding and black stories from white control? If so, I have not been convinced this is true. While there is undoubtedly a need for an unfettered presentation of black history, it has not been proven that white influence must be ignored for this to occur. However, it is clear from whence the question arises: a history of black thought and culture being obscured or stolen by whites which after centuries of rampant manifestation has become anathema to millions of black Americans.
Essayist Clyde Taylor points to independence as necessary for the "expression of themes and attitudes that would otherwise remain repressed in a culture where the views of the black minority, particularly those that smack of self-determination, are heavily filtered or blocked" in "Paths of Enlightenment: Heroes, Rebels and Thinkers." (142) To Taylor, the ultimate goal of the black filmmaker is "making an original and provocative contribution to knowledge" (143). While no doubt originality is foremost in the mind of most any filmmaker, it would be more than a stretch to assume or even hope for provocativeness in every endeavor. I imagine there are a great many filmmakers whose primary goal is to inform. Should the possibility of provocativeness arise, it may or may not be sidestepped, but it is likely not on par with originality.