p.p1 it comes to people of color

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A movie’s representation of people of color
“12 years a slave” is a movie that has gained great fame with the pass of time. It is a true replica of what slavery entailed before the black Americans attained their rights in the USA. I got to watch it after hearing so much about it, and it certainly did match my expectations as of when I heard of it. The USA has a well know history of slavery; especially the whites are enslaving the black Americans. As one of its purposes, literature affects the stereotypes, mentalities, and ideologies of the audience and society at large; the movie as part of literature has played an important role of bringing out the aspects of slavery that were experienced then and therefore has great impact on the stereotypes and identity when it comes to people of color in the USA. The audience, in this case, is the contemporary individuals, especially youths, who are obviously interested in knowing the very tiny details of whatever led to the racist stereotypes that are greatly affecting the USA even to date.  This document is an editorial presenting a review of the movie’s representation of the people of color and an explanation of how the representations affect identity and stereotypes.

12 years a slave
The movie begins with a free black man (Solomon) being kidnapped and eventually sold to a rich white man owning Louisiana plantation; this finds even him by surprise because he is a “free man” as he claims, yet he is captured and enslaved. Solomon finds many other slaves being brutally used by the same owner as well as his second employer Edwin Epps; the female slaves are raped, tortured, abused, and whipped, among other brutal treatments. In this movie, blacks are depicted as very inferior, intellectually poor and not capable of doing anything meaningful apart from hard manual work, being used for sexual satisfaction against their will, objects on which stress and pressure are released by being whipped, beaten and abused. The blacks are treated less human beings in the then USA as depicted in this movie. They are not allowed to make any decision; they are not entitled to any comfortable life; additionally, they have no rights whatsoever (Taufik & Muhammad 116). The movie indicates a vast gap between the blacks and the whites considering the social standards. Was this the way it used to be in the pre-blacks’ freedom period in the USA? I asked myself the same question while watching the movie; I mean could I survive in those eras? I wonder. However, my assessment tells me that one of the movie’s intentions was to illustrate to the sober-minded people how hard and brutal it was for the blacks then, and how unrealistic racism and the other related stereotypes are. The movie shows the inferiority of the black and the right of the black to be considered equal as evident when Solomon is released with the help of an attorney.
Irrelevance might be crossing one’s mind while trying to relate how the past things relate to the current society. However, in this case, the history shown in this movie has everything to do with racism that is still a menace in the United States even today. The discrimination in schools, for instance, is real. The big question would be how the teenagers do adopt such mentalities; I am tempted to guess that most white parents in the present society are sober enough to have realized that discriminating the blacks does not make sense, and so I would not put much blame on them as pertains to influencing their children concerning racism and other related stereotypes. Just a point to note, I mentioned most parents; not all. Some of the contributors to racism and other related stereotypes are such literature as this movie “12 years a slave” as well as peer pressure, which still traces its way to such literature (Nelson, 2009); they feed such ideas as racial discrimination into the teenagers’ minds. Additionally, the movie tends to give all the reasons as to why the blacks used to be enslaved and discriminated by the whites, justifying racial discrimination. 
The white-black difference in itself is identity because identity is the state of remaining a unique individual or group of people (Castells, 2011). The movie stated above somewhat shows a wrong application of identity, where superiority or inferiority is judged basing on one’s race. Who said that every white person is brilliant? Or that every black person is not brilliant? The movie tends to feed its audience with the wrong perception of identity to that bit. However, it does not go negative all through. The movie brings out a positive aspect of identity when Solomon, still insists that he is a free man and should not be captured; he is well aware that he does not belong there and despite the fact that he is forced to be a slave on the outward look, deep within him he does not forget his real identity-who he really is. Identity in the movie trickle beyond race to character and ability. Therefore, it would not be so good an idea for one to judge just by considering race. It has such a positive effect on the audience that if embraced, could help one to overcome the mentality of being inferior while being discriminated against others who think they are superior.
Racial stereotypes are common in the current society; some whites still think that all blacks are inferior to them and are not smart at all. Additionally, the white Americans are assumed to be all racist. Are they true? Well, they are just stereotypes assumed to be true. It is true that “12 years a slave” as literature, has a great effect on such stereotypes.  One might have heard of such assumptions, and probably even tempted to believe them. This movie shows a contrary scenario; that not all whites are racist, and even that not all blacks are intellectually poor and incapable. For instance, Solomon is skilled in playing the violin and is a carpenter as well, yet he is black. In the movie, not all the whites are racist; in fact, Solomon has white friends such as Samuel Bass and Henry, who eventually help him to freedom.
As a conclusion, literature plays a crucial role in the society. Additionally, it has a vast influence on the society. If the well made use of, it could greatly impact the world positively. The movie “12 years a slave” brings along with it very many good moral lessons and challenges the various vises in the society today such as the wrong application of identity, negative stereotypes, racism among others. It brings out lessons that curb these vises and give an alternative to make the relationship among people of different races better. It contains scenarios that disapprove some negative stereotypes, uses some characters to inspire lives and help people to develop strong principles, and gives the right application and true meaning of identity through the character Solomon, among other things. It is, therefore, my plea that the audience should embrace these lessons and make use of them in their daily lives for a better living, and better relation with others.
Work cited
Castells, Manuel. The power of identity: The information age: Economy, society, and culture. Vol. 2. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Nelson, Todd D., ed. Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Psychology Press, 2009.
Taufik, Muhammad, and Hasniar Hasniar. “RACISM IN 12 YEARS A SLAVE MOVIE.” English and Literature Journal 3.01 (2016): 104-120.