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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Words: 190 words || 
1. Robinson, Edward L.. "Moral Saints and Social Pariahs: The Economy of the New Black Noble Savage in American Cinema" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2020-02-29 <>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This presentation seeks to contribute to the discussion of the new economy of leading black men’s characters duel role as moral saints and social pariahs. I argue that along with the continue ‘sainthood’ adorned to many leading black male roles, following the rise of Barack Obama’s presidential run and subsequent victory, is an instituting of an social pariah complex veiled in the constructions of hip-hop stereotypes of social hardness, hyper-masculinity, and cruelty. I consider the roles played by Will Smith, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, and Denzel Washington in the movies Hancock (2008), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Book of Eli (2009). I explore the racial dynamics of black characters who are heroic and righteous but also social outsiders and natural killers. I also argue that contemporary American cinema is promoting a more complex black male character wrapped in contemporary hip hop codes of language, toughness, and crude behavior. Thus, contemporary American cinema capitalizes on the mystique of hip hop popularity and masculinity as well as benefits from the aura of moral righteousness defined by the black historical leadership and the positive feelings coming out of the presidency of Barack Obama.

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