How Far Have We Come? A Comparison of Jamaican Representations in Cool Runnings and Luke Cage

Israel Cariche Ramsay, University of Texas at El Paso


Representation of minority groups in popular media has been the cause of many debates in recent years. There has been outcry against the lack of diverse representations, and the kind of representation of minority groups. When powerful media organizations are representing minority groups, imperialism and post colonialism become part of the conversation. To look at the representation of minorities, I examined the representation of Jamaicans in two popular texts. The first is Cool Runnings, a 1993 film, and the second is season two of Luke Cage, a Netflix series released in 2018. In both of these instances, Jamaicans and Jamaican culture are represented in problematic ways. Using media analysis and postcolonial theories, I examine how the use of language, music and other aspects of culture are used in order to showcase Jamaican culture and investigate the use of stereotypes that are used for Jamaicans. Katz’s model of minority media representation and Stuart Hall’s theories on postcolonialism and media are the lenses through which these aspects will be examined. Ultimately, I argue that representations of Jamaicans and other minorities are rooted in power structures that can be examined through the lens of post-colonialism and representations of minorities are a display of the power that Hollywood yields.

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Recommended Citation

Ramsay, Israel Cariche, "How Far Have We Come? A Comparison of Jamaican Representations in Cool Runnings and Luke Cage" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27667392.