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Transcript of First Prezi
So What Are Images?
The Mammy portrayed the African American female slave or domestic servant as being nurturing toward the White family
This image is one of an asexual being, on both physical and emotional levels.
Physically, the Mammy is portrayed as an overweight, dark-skinned woman with very African features. She is not considered attractive by Western standards, and, thus, was not considered attractive to white male desires.
Essentially, the Mammy image preserved the convenient script of the happy, docile, Black female servant during a period when Black women were transitioning from unpaid house slaves to paid domestic workers.
-Images are a representation of the external form of a person or thing in sculpture, painting, etc.
~A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject's distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.
~The art of creating such representations.
~A grotesque imitation or misrepresentation
A term used to refer to a person who is born from one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry.
In the mid-1960’s, the government was again instrumental in reinforcing another image-the controlling, emasculating Matriarch. Assistant Secretary of Labor
Daniel Patrick Moynihan popularized this image when he was commissioned by the federal government to explore the African American experience in response to rising discord and power movements of the period. Through his actual use of the term “matriarch,”
Moynihan essentially presented African American women as emasculating, controlling, and contemptuous females who did not need a man beyond using his seed for childbearing (Bond 1970; (Ransby and Matthews 1995; Wallace 1978).
Moynihan’s 1965 fact finding report stated that the African American experience was problematized by a family structure that was under the sexual controls of its women (Rainwater and Yancey 1967).
Focusing on female centered households, the report stated that this familial structure did not provide African American men with the emotional or psychological models and tools they needed to become productive members in American society.
African American women were portrayed as holding the power within the familial unit, and using their sexuality as a means to dominate, and gain control both within their homes and larger society.
By utilizing these images, adversarial relationships between African American males and females are fostered.
The Welfare Mother
This image reinforced the perception that African American women breed children uncontrollably and these “unwanted” offspring become an eventual burden on society (Hill Collins 2000; Solinger 1992; Wallace 1978).
According to the script, the Welfare Mother lazily collects government checks and reproduces poverty by passing on her pathologies to her many children (Sklar 1995).
This image was developed as a response to middle class families’ outcries against African American women’s receipt of monetary support from the government in the form of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), assistance originally intended for middle-class White women widowed by war (Sklar 1995; Solinger 1992).
The Jezebel is best described as a young, exotic, promiscuous, over-sexed woman who uses sexuality to get attention, love, and material goods (Hill Collins 2000; Morton 1991).
Portrayed as having light skin, long hair, and a shapely body, the Jezebel was sometimes referred to as a mulatto or half-breed (note the highly animalistic terms).
Myths of their insatiable sexual appetite were used to justify the rape of slave women by their masters (Hill Collins 2000; Villarosa 1994).
Jezebels were painted as wanting to please men; only by doing this would they achieve both sexual gratification and personal satisfaction.
The reality was that the Jezebel was a sexually abused African American woman used to fulfill the masters’ sexual and economic needs.
The children she bore from these rapes added to his slave stock, as the legal system did not recognize that slave women could be raped and decreed that the children born from these unions gained the same status as their mother (Blassingame 1979; Davis 1983; Scales-Trent 1993).
-Stereotypes: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing: "sexual and racial stereotypes".
Brutal Black Buck
-Is a violent, angry black male. He tends to have a violent nature.
-The superstud or hypersexualized black male. Originally a well-built plantation stud mated with several female slaves in order to breed muscular workers, but later became synonymous with the hypersexualized swaggering action hero, antihero or villain, employing violence on the behalf of either crime or law enforcement.
The Uncle Tom
-Is a faithful, older, black male servant. He is well behaved and respectful of the master despite being mistreated and disrespected.
-Is a lazy, worthless black man. He talks slowly in an ethnic dialect and walks slowly sometimes slumped over. He is considered stupid and illiterate.
-Is a crude, stupid, and trifling buffoon who often makes a fool of himself. An obnoxious personality, ill-fitting and loud clothes are typical traits. He also has difficulty understanding and pronouncing big words.
-Is a black man with child-like ways. He is usually docile and happy with a wide grin.
The HARM Theory
Hollywood’s Acting Rule for Minorities
-“If and when a minority character appears in a mainstream movie, this character will be compromised in some way, shape or form-often in relationship to the White lead counterpart.”
The HARM Theory consists of six minority archetypes:
Angel: a source of strength and spiritual guidance; functions as a sidekick to central characters
Background Figure: character has very limited dialogue, serves as an accessory or “window dressing”
Comic Relief: typically the carrier of the jokes, with improper grammar, boisterous, and exaggerated facial expressions; a high contrast to standard, White middle class behavior.
Menace to Society: character is violent or will potentially be violent and morally corrupt.
Physical Wonder: acknowledged for their physical or sexual prowess at the sacrifice of intellectual or emotional capacities.
Utopic Reversal: character maintains a position of authority or high social status, but their “authority” is usually undermined, rendering their authority as mostly symbolic in nature.
(Gooding Jr., F.W. 2007. “You Mean There’s Race In My Movie: The complete guide to understanding race in mainstream Hollywood”. On The Reelz Press, Inc. Silver Spring: MA. Pp. 56-57.)
("Racial Stereotypes." The Jim Crow Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008. The African American Experience. Greenwood Publishing Group. 23 Oct 2012. <http://testaae.greenwood.com/doc.aspx?fileID=GR4181&chapterID=GR4181-5570&path=encyclopedias/greenwood>).
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Where Do We Go From Here?
"So, effectively, a disproportionate chunk of the BET audience might consist of people who either enjoy brain dead programming or only look to BET to give them brain dead programming. You can’t give your child candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner until he’s 10 years old, and then expect him to become a Vegan."
(Watkins, Dr. Boyce. 2012. “BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming”. Black Blue Dog. http://www.blackbluedog.com/2012/10/uncategorized/bets-president-explains-why-she-doesnt-offer-more-positive-programming/)
Why Do We Continue to Fit In, Instead of Stand Out?
What Caused the Black Film Industry to Suffer?
White Business men seeking financial success of Black theaters.
White managers of Black theaters refused to show Black films at a higher price.
White managers of Black theaters refused to book Black-produced films.
Major distribution problems.
Black producers had to reduce production costs to realize a profit.
Are These Negative Images Really About Race?
The easiest path to slavery is to form an addiction
to a commodity that you do not control.
Children younger than 8 "cannot uniformly discriminate between real life and fantasy/entertainment They quickly learn that violence is an acceptable solution to resolving even complex problems, particularly if the aggressor is the hero." - American Academy of Pediatrics
Children spend more time watching television than in any other activity except sleep. - Huston and Wright, University of Kansas. 66% of children (ages 10 to 16) surveyed say that their peers are influenced by TV shows "Television and Socialization of Young Children."
1. To address some of the complexities of race relations in America related to images within the media.
2. To understand how/why racist ideas and anti-black images dominate American/European culture.
3. To understand how/why racist images and caricatures have resurfaced in new forms/images.
4. To understand why there are more racist caricatures/images of African-Americans than of any other racial or ethnic group.
5. To research the sociological, historical and psychological information on slavery, the Jim Crow period and its continuing effect upon how society views people of color and how people of color view themselves.
6. To review present caricatured images of Blacks that are found in all aspects of the media.
What do these women all have in common?
Hattie McDaniel was the first African American
to win an Oscar.
Morgan Freeman as God