Black Stereotypes In The Media Essay

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Black Stereotypes In The Media

Janine, Tierra & Matt

Common Black Stereotypes
• Magical: Consisting of or looking for a spiritual super power, usually to help their white counterpart. Often uneducated with informal speech.
Examples: Dick Hallorann, “The Shining” 1980
John Coffey “The Green Mile” 1998
Papa Justify & Wife “ “The Skeleton Key” 2005
Miss Cleo – Infomercials 1990’s

Common Black Stereotypes
• Servants: Often found in movies, African Americans play the butler, maid, bellboy, secretaries or waiter in a
Caucasian movie/TV show.
• Examples: Mammy “Gone with the Wind” 1939
Juanita “Billy Madison” 1995
Aunt Jemima From TV Commercials

Common Black Stereotypes
Sassy Overweight Black Woman: If not playing some sort of servant/maid, many times African American women (and men) are cast as mothers or grandmothers that are very loud and bold, with a take no crap attitude.
Examples: Queen Latifah, “Bringing Down The House” 2003
Tyler Perry “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” 2005
Martin Lawrence “Big Momma’s House1 & 2” 2000
Eddie Murphy “The Nutty Professor” 1996

Common Black Stereotypes
• Ghetto: Drug dealer, ex-con, street hustlers, or even just living in the inner city. Blacks often play gritty characters, using informal English, just trying to better themselves. If not trying to better themselves they are put in off-the-wall situations to play contrast or opposite to someone else (usually white).
Examples: Eddie Murphy “48 Hours” 1982
Flavor Flav “Under One Roof” 2008
Wesley Snipes “New Jack City” 1991

Common Black Stereotypes
• Athletic: Very athletic or the ability to run fast is a common black role. This character usually very boisterous, openly admitting their athletic skills.
Basketball is the most common sport that we see portrayed by blacks, but Football, Baseball and Track and Field are also used.
Examples: Jesus Shuttlesworth “He Got Game” 1998
Wesley Snipes “White Man Can’t Jump” 1992
Cuba Gooding Jr. “Jerry McGuire” 1996

Top 100 Black American classic movies

Many of the top 100 All-Time Black movies portray
Black Actors/Actresses in one of the 5 stereotypical ways. Examples:

Anna Lucasta

Backstairs at the
White House 1979

48 Hrs. 1982

Boyz N’ The
Hood 1991

The Examples Go on and On…

Falsely Blaming A “Black Person”

Many news reports (TV, Newspaper & Internet) and books are quick to take a white person’s word when claiming that a Black Person committed a crime against them. However when it is a Black Person doing the accusing, many times they are not taken seriously. Examples
Susan Smith: initially reported to police, on October 25,
1994, that she had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in the car. She eventually
Confessed to killing her 2 kids.
Ashley Todd: Reported she was robbed at knifepoint by a black man who carved the letter
“B” in her face, because of a bumper sticker promoting John McCain. Admitted to the lie the next day.
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird: Tom Robinson is falsely accused of Raping a White Woman.

Rodney King: Even though evidence was clear to show white police officers attacking Mr. King, a jury found the white police officer Not Guilty.

Hip Hop Music
Hip Hop music portrays African American lives in many different ways through the artists performing the songs.
A great deal of the popular music over the past three decades has helped to stereotyping blacks in one or more of the following categories:
- As Killers
- Degraders of Women
- Being from inner urban areas or serving prison time - Concerned with making money or having expensive things
- Standing up to authority (Usually White People)

As Killers
Popular Hip Hop music known as “Gangsta Rap” uses guns and murder as a common theme in most of the songs.
EXAMPLES: N.W.A – “Straight Outta Compton” (#6 All-Time Hip Hop Song)
Sample Lyric: “When I'm called off I got a sawed off (Shotgun).
Squeeze the trigger and bodies are