American History X

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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American History XAmerican History X was a film that expressed a harsh reality of racism in our country today. The film is taken place in Venice Beach, California, and it represents a day in the life of a boy who fell in the clench of white supremacy. The film begins with a flashback of the boy, whose name is Danny, witnessing his skinhead brother shooting at a black man breaking into his car. The flashback ends with the older brother, whose name is Derek, getting arrested. When Derek was getting arrested he had this strange look in his eye, as if he was happy and proud of what he did. Then the film begins three years later and Danny sitting waiting to go into the principals' office because of a racist paper he had written for one of his classes. The principal, Dr. Sweeny, assigned Danny a new paper to write.

He had to write a paper about his brother, and was to be turned in by the next morning. This day is also the day Derek was released from jail.

The beginning of this movie proves that racism is something that is learned. Danny looked up to his brother Derek, and as Derek was in jail for three years Danny was trying to become more like him. This is not the only time in the film where racism was taught. There was a flashback where Derek was talking about how much he was learning from his new teacher Dr. Sweeny, who was a black man, to his father at the dinner table. The father asked what he was learning and Derek proceeded to tell him about this book they were reading in class. The dad did not know what this book was and when Derek told him...