Black Women: White Supremacist And Racial Stereotypes

Improved Essays
The ending of slavery during the 19th century was only the beginning of another major battle for Black Americans. Although the captivity of the black body took place over a century ago, it has shaped the way Black people, Black women in particular, are treated in American society. White supremacist and racist ideology that began during slavery have evolved from explicit racial cues such as the lynching and beating of the black body to more implicit ones that have made their way into mainstream media, one of the most important agents of socialization. Implicit racial cues that range from playing in degrading roles to not being casted at all have the power to shape the way consumers create reality, which in some cases, can be just as harmful …show more content…
The Mammy stereotype, which was created as a result of slavery, depicted Black women as being the dark-skinned, mother figure in the White household. She was nurturing, often overweight and loyal to her slave master and his family. (Thomas et. al, 2004). Unlike the Mammy stereotype, however, the Jezebel image was formed as a result of Black women, during slavery, being exploited and mistreated by their slave owners. Jezebel’s were sexually promiscuous and had a big sexual appetite. This stereotype was primarily used as a way to justify the sexual violence against Black women that took place during the 19th and 20th centuries (West, 2008), years after the abolition of slavery. Finally, the Sapphire stereotype branded Black women as being loud, angry and controlling …show more content…
Despite this, Black men and women were not hired to perform as themselves during early productions. Instead, White actors and actresses were hired to do so while in blackface. By refusing to hire Black actors to play themselves, disparaging stereotypes were being created as Blacks were presented in an unfavorable light. As stated as by Recchio (2011), “blackface minstrelsy was characterized by racial mockery, trading on stereotypes of the African slave” (p. 38). Not only were blacks being mocked in these films, the films they were portrayed in often time reinforced White supremacist ideals over Blacks which further implied that they were the “lesser” group. McKoy (2012) argues that in American mainstream media, we are constantly seeing, “…ideologies of racism that are dominant…these negative ideologies include racial exploitation which incorporated beliefs that justify inferior or unequal treatment of specific groups” (p. 301). Racist ideology constantly being broadcasted has a tremendous effect on the way those who are being exploited are viewed and treated. The “racial mockery” of Blacks that took place during the 1800’s and early 1900’s has transformed into a culture filled with “ideologies of racism that are dominant” in American pop culture and the film industry in particular. Black face minstrelsy performed in the 19th and 20th centuries was able

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