Daughters Of The Dust Analysis

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While Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash came out in 1991, its influence in Hollywood is still felt today. For example, it was recently restored to the Film Forum in 2016, as well as featured in Beyoncé’s 2015 music video Lemonade. However, Daughters of the Dust not only influenced Hollywood but also African American women's representation in Hollywood. This is because it told the journey of an African American family, through the African American female’s perspective. The film’s female-centric platform and narration was revolutionary notably due to its distance from Hollywood clichés that often follow African American women. By having an African American woman’s voices hold the dominant position in a motion picture, it assisted in challenging…show more content…
Dash began working on Daughter of the Dust in 1975 with the goal of creating "a historical drama that redefined African American women — in an epic sort of way. ” Daughters of the Dust redefines the African-American woman, by creating a story that is told from the authentic perspective of an African-American woman, rather than the males that dominate the film industry, and have consequently controlled the narratives of African-American women in previous films. As Maya Angelou has said, “If we look out of our eyes at the immediate world around us, we see whites and males in dominant roles. ” Daughters of the Dust, however, is told from the point of view of two black women who belong to the Peazant Family; the Peazant family is the main focus of the film. In Filmmaking within a Culture of Woman by Black Camera, the article takes note of the importance of the identity of the two narrators saying, “Two female narrators - one a matriarch, wrinkled and respected; the other an unborn child- offer rich accounts of the family’s move northward. ” Nana, who is the matriarch of the Peazant family, the unborn child, and the rest of the family are of Gullah descendent and are migrating from the Gullah islands to the mainland. Their ancestors, who were brought to Gullah islands off the Georgia coast, heavily influence the family of Nana and the Unborn Child. The ancestors were enslaved people who were forced to settle on the coast, however, the new generation has led the family onto a new journey . The journey is influenced by the past and future, and leads to an inevitable choice the family must make between them. The family, unique because of the female voices leading their story, in the end must choose whether to stay on the island or maintain the life they are already

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