I was a teacher at a high school in the Cabrini-Green complex in Chicago in the 1990s when the buildings were starting to be emptied. I saw firsthand the beginnings of the removal of nearly 15,000 people from their homes when the first building came down in 1995, three years after the first Candyman film. I wrote this academic paper as part of a graduate seminar with Dr. Piya Pal-Lapinski - Victorian Monsters: Fiction and Film 1837 to 2021 at Bowling Green State University in the United States. My paper examines the 2021 film and the sociopolitical and historical context of racial othering and the spatialization of people of color. American racial legacy is what turns the buildings as well as the lead character, Anthony McCoy, into monsters. Therefore, I theorize that racism is the monster responsible for the horror in Candyman. I posit that the erasure of the once thriving but troubled neighborhood of Cabrini-Green, was not as much gentrification as it was full-scale removal of people of color. The work of James Baldwin, Dani Bethea, Tananarive Due, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Diane Hoeveler, Toni Morrison, and Jon Towlson is cited in the paper.
Dr. Piya Pal-Lapinski
Dr. Chad Iwertz Duffy
Cousino, Jennifer, "Master's Portfolio" (2022). Master of Arts in English Plan II Graduate Projects. 100.