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White BalanceHow Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights$
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Justin Gomer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655802

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655802.001.0001

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Lord, How Dare We Celebrate

Lord, How Dare We Celebrate

Colorblind Hegemony and Genre in the 1990s

(p.163) 6 Lord, How Dare We Celebrate
White Balance

Justin Gomer

University of North Carolina Press

The final chapter examines teacher films, those movies in which a (typically) suburban white woman accepts a job teaching student of color in low-income urban neighborhoods. Although the late 1980s and 1990s certainly do not mark the first instances of teachers as protagonists in American cinema, it was during these years that films centered around white teachers and their inner-city nonwhite pupils became increasingly popular and developed specific themes and tropes that were inherently informed by the logic of colorblindness. This analysis of this genre is situated, most notably the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, within the context of the War on Drugs, urban blight, the dismantling of affirmative action, and, most importantly, neoliberal educational reform in arguing that colorblindness ultimately produced entirely new film genres that are inherently colorblind.

Keywords:   Colorblindness, Hollywood, Teacher Films, Dangerous Minds, Freedom Writers, Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me, Neoliberalism, Neoliberal Education Reform, War on Drugs

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