ENC – 1102
12th September 2014
Stereotypes and Cultures in the Boondocks
Human beings are complex individuals and everyone serves a stereotype and breaks one. In American society, there are stereotypes of black men being violent, unintelligent, unworthy and incapable in comparison to white men. The Boondocks is a show that illustrates these stereotypes and offers a criticism about them. Characters such as Huey, Tom, Mr. Freeman, Riley and Uncle Ruckus all exemplify these different stereotypes. The Boondocks television show structures different kinds of racial stereotypes that are drawn in America and illustrates in an entertaining way what the issues are in society today.
Huey, one of the characters in the Boondocks goes against the stereotype of the black boy being ignorant but at the same time follows the stereotype of a black man in the 80's with an afro. However, Huey is an intelligent boy who is viewed differently than the stereotype of a black boy. For example on one of the episodes for President Barack Obama's run into the White House, all the other guys in the community are celebrating and hoping for Barack Obama to win when instead Huey is not participating in their actions and not just following the stereotype of blacks wanting Obama to win for him being black.
Another character in the Boondocks that the creator of the show purposefully uses is Tom. Tom is a black but is married to a white woman. This is one way that the show depicts stereotyping because it's not very common to have interracial couples. Tom is also a lawyer and sometimes prosecutes some of his own people, so this brings up the racial stereotype because some blacks feels that another black man shouldn't bring down their own people or hurt them like the white man did during the period of slavery. Therefore the Boondocks does a good job with giving two clear representations that break the stereotype of a black man being ignorant and having no good meaning to society.
Another character that represents the black culture is the Granddad. One way the Boondocks represents the black culture of the Granddad is by his surname being Freeman. This brings back memories of emancipation and when the black people were finally free from slavery. Mr. Freeman always speaks about the past and how he escaped a lot of the slave culture. Mr. Freeman represents the stereotype of an old man who sits, talks and reminisces on old time stories. When Ed Muncler, a wealthy man pronounces "Freeman", he says it saying it in two different words as Free and Man, which is the pun intended that the black man being free and getting the permission from the white man, and the white man accepting him. He is around him without race being an issue.
Riley is another character in the show who represents the stereotype of gangsters and a black boy being uncivilized. Riley always uses profanity and always does thing of the stereotypical black kid. In one of the stories when Riley's favorite rapper is shot, Riley goes to visit him to show his loyalty to this rapper who does not even know him. This relates to the stereotype of black people today, killing and fighting each other over tennis shoes and rappers and trying to live a rapper's lavish lifestyle. The stereotype for the way Riley dresses is that it is cool and the producers of the Boondocks makes Riley sag his pants and talk like a gangster to show these common misleading stereotypes. This connects to a recent scenario in the real world, Trayvon Martin, a black boy who was walking in a neighborhood and shot down by a white man and the misleading evidence stereotyping the boy because he was wearing a black hoodie. Another character who represents the supreme stereotype of racism is Uncle Ruckus. Uncle Ruckus is in a unique situation because he hates all black people and anything black. His reason for this is that his mom told him that his dad is in fact white and that he has a disease that causes him to become