Between Colorblind and Colorconscious: Shifting Racial Images in Contemporary Hollywood Films




Smith, Jason

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The current racial context in American society is one that race scholars define as “colorblind.” In which the proliferation of racial inequalities are seen as individually based rather than accounting for the ways in which racially inequality has been built into the structures of societal institutions. One of the understudied areas in this field is that of the mass media, and in particular popular culture and the area of film. Taking this into account, the author seeks to look at the ways in which colorblind ideology is put forward in the space of Hollywood films. However, the proliferation of one ideology cannot be so simple, in that opposing ideas and images are also at play as well. Films which feature a level of black starpower that exhibit themes of colorconsciousness are present, yet constrained within the boundaries of colorblind ideology. This emergence of colorconsciousness, while small, is quite new and offers potentials for further exploration in the areas of race relations in 21st century.



Race and Ethnicity, Popular Culture, Media Studies, Colorblind Theory