Sambo Stereotypes

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When it comes to the personalities of slaves, most people believe that they have an idea of what slave’s personalities were. These conceptions are mostly based off of the basic misunderstanding of the house slave and field slave dynamic. Although, there are stereotypes - many still directed toward black people today - that give one dimensional ideas of certain slave personalities. One of the most common stereotypical personalities applied to slaves was the Sambo personality. Sambo can be described as the simpleton - the big childish Negro. The exaggerated Sambo myth distracts from “the heroic Nat Turner, the strategy-gifted Gabriel Possers, and the gigantic, enterprising Denmark Vesey “ (Douglas, 344). A stereotype such as this one makes it difficult for black people to build self-confidence, which, to whites - the “master race” - was convenient because, what’s better than a slave that doesn’t see himself as anything better …show more content…
Whereas Sambo is applied to men, Jezebel is a stereotype associated with women. The Jezebel stereotype describes the woman slave that is out to sleep with the master, or today, more commonly known as the woman out to ‘steal your man.’ Jezebel was described as ruled by her sexual desires and having no control over them whatsoever. The Jezebel stereotype provided an excuse for the white masters to use when they raped their female slaves, as well as an excuse when the white mistresses treated them much harsher than the others. There are many other stereotypes that were - and some still are - applied to enslaved black people, though these can be considered the most common ones. These stereotypes were extremely harmful to the black community, since they didn’t allow black people to build up their self-confidence, that is something African Americans have been struggling with since slavery. Black men and women have been working since then to dismantle these myths and build up their