Blacks In Advertising

1662 Words 7 Pages
“The generalization of Blacks and their culture has been in American society for a long time, may it have been positive or negative, Blacks and their impact in advertising has dated back to colonial years of America and still makes an impact today.”
Looking at brands and ads from the 1800s to now, do Blacks feel offended? From blackface, to racial terms, offensive nicknames (Jiggaboo, Mandingo, Jezebel, Mammy & etc), stereotypes and images, advertising had held a negative light on Blacks for years, centuries at that and it’s still present to this very day. Recently advertising featuring interracial couples with their children have been receiving a lot of feedback, many was against the ads while others actually praise the ads. It’s almost comical
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For example, Pears ' soap that showed a black boy getting into a tub of water. In a second frame, after he had used Pears ', the boy had a white body, yet his hair still black, shows the black boy used that soap to come out of the water a clean and “white”1, another example is featured in a chapter in the American Quarterly, ‘Black Stereotypes’ basically summarize the effects of how blacks were depicted in advertising and that it was a negative outcome. For example, In Black Stereotypes ad cards poked fun at the Reconstruction bills that was passed by Abraham Lincoln, for the 13th and 14th amendments, a trade card for Magnolia Meat said ‘What de use talkin’ ‘bout dem ‘mendments” the use of grammar showed that Blacks were not educated, and they don’t understand anything about the two amendments being passed that would abolish slavery 2. Another ad card, featured blacks in casual clothing to promote a popular coon song called “All Coons Look Alike to Me” in 1896, which states that all Blacks looked the same no matter what position or what they wore, p105. Another popular stereotype that the chapter reflects was the watermelon theory, for example a 1901 comic postcard shows a watermelon-loving, chicken-stealing black man declaring “Dis Am De Wust Perdickermeunt Ob Mah Life” again featuring the horrible grammar …show more content…
Stanley. "Black Stereotypes as Reflected in Popular Culture, 1880-1920." In American Quarterly, 102-16. 1st ed. Vol. 29. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.
In my Advertising class, although it was brief we spoke about advertising and how Blacks were seen in certain ads, for example Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat and Uncle Ben, all were token Blacks that were “trusted” in black homes as opposed to Pears’, because for once it was a Black person’s face in an ad not in a negative limelight, although this subjected the stereotype that Blacks in a servant role.
As years progressed to the 1900s the representation of African Americans only became worse with every passing year with immigrants coming over from different countries, World Wars, nativism (Rise of KKK), social movements and the Jim Crow during the 1900s until the late 1960s. During the mid-1900s came about companies that promoted positivity in the black community, especially advertising companies. A shift came during the 1940s and early 1950s, a few magazines became the hallmarks in the black community, Negro Digest (1942) Ebony magazine (1945) and JET magazine (1951). I remember growing up seeing these magazines piled up in black-owned establishments in the 1990s. These magazines were the pinnacle of "Black Love" or "Self-Love". They served a purpose that their counterparts didn 't do the community. These magazines rose awareness in the black community, there were more advertising that served the black communities

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