Analysis Of Michael Omi's In Living Color: Race And American Culture

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Today’s way of thinking is enforced by messages aired on popular television shows. For years now slavery has been abolished in the U.S., yet today’s form of thinking is highly driven by racial cues. While old racist groups in communities have not let them die down, television and film have helped by continually basing characters or story plot’s off certain stereotypes, typically from minority groups, that are guaranteed to catch people’s attention and further more increase ratings. Not only is American culture influenced by racial stereotypes, but it is also driven by gender codes and myths. Television has become the source where many stereotypes are enforced and because of that many have surpassed their time. As a way to make a TV show relatable …show more content…
Michael Omi mentions in his article, In Living Color: Race and American Culture, that TV shows create stereotypical characters for shows to be familiar, and in the process reflect racial ideologies (628). It’s a strange thing; Black people have contradicted themselves, segregated themselves, and divided themselves into groups inside their own communities because of hatred they have grown based on how they have been represented on TV and other media. Many believe that light skin Black people get better representation on television than darker skinned Black people and because of this light skin people get treated differently within the Black community. Black people become uncomfortable talking or socializing with mixed people because they may not act Black (Omi 627). In the case of Empire, the writers used this to their advantage in hidden ways, using light skin characters such as Lucious to play the dominant, successful role and darker skin characters play the lesser role, such as the security guard. However, on the contrast, the development of the light skin characters lead them to be untrustworthy going back on the racial code that light skin people have it all and are “perfect”. The writers of the show played on the stereotype twisting it around and maybe giving people what …show more content…
Screaming, hitting, acting crazy, the show highlights the entire negative stereotype against Black women. The implications of doing as such do not make a positive change as what Daniel’s, co-writer and director, claims he intends to do by basing all his characters off of stereotypes. As Dawanna Butler mentions in her journal, Blacks Be Like, constant depiction of the angry Black woman contributes to later in time when it becomes, and may already have become, acceptable to direct violence and abuse towards Black women (43). Many Black women suffer through this making it impossible for them to show any emotions or reaction towards anything because they would be judged the instance they disagree or let out their emotions. They will not have the same reaction as when a White woman expresses her emotions; they will be called defensive and told they are uncontrollable (Vanzart). This dangerous stereotype and label Empire has decided to put a spotlight on does nothing to help change the mindset and perception towards Black women, on the contrary, it reinforces it and glorifies it for ratings. There’s nothing entertaining about the angry Black lady act, but since it is such a flip from what women are typically portrayed as; nurturing and soft-spoken, it catches the viewer’s off-guard and their attention. ADD WITH NEXT

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