The Whitewashing Of Black-White Culture

2130 Words 9 Pages
If you take a moment to look around at billboards, magazines, and your favorite films, you may notice something about the bodies in view. You may notice the races of the bodies, and that most of those bodies are white. The obvious and blatant forms of whitewashing have permeated society so much so that many people no longer even notice that almost every character on their favorite television show--minus that one background role with minimal speaking lines--is white. This is not just a temporary trend created by media and product producers. The whitewashing of African-Americans by the mainstream entertainment industry illustrates and perpetuates the historically-driven idea that white is the standard of beauty. This industry prompts a societal …show more content…
Many people feel the need to adopt a more western or European-white culture in order to integrate into society. The need to fit in and become like everyone around them is one of the driving forces behind why individuals feel the need to adopt these mannerisms, looks and lifestyle. Different methods exist to accomplish this feat of whitewashing. One very common method is Photoshop. By digitally altering an image of someone or something to look more like someone or something else, they allow themselves to make the image whatever they want it to be, which in many cases, involves the lightening of a person’s skin. Another more drastic method of whitewashing is skin bleaching or skin lightening. This method uses chemicals to physically alter the color of one 's skin in order to look lighter or “whiter.” These approaches are some of ways that African-Americans, and those who feel like they do not fit in, try to integrate themselves into the Western society in which we …show more content…
African American males are stereotypically casted in particular roles in American films. The usual character include the comedic relief, the ladies’ man, the token black person, the black sidekick of a white protagonist, the athlete, and most destructive, the violent black man. “Mainstream media have/systematically under-represented African Americans in genres outside of music, sport and comedy and over-represent blacks as criminals or indigents” (Squires, 7). These one-dimensional characters in film greatly contradict the broader, deeper understanding of black life. Images created by mass media outlets are important because they supposedly mirror and strongly influence the functioning principles of American culture. More precisely, “images in the mass media are infused with color-coded positive and negative moralistic features. Once these symbols become familiar and accepted, they fuel misperceptions and perpetuate misunderstandings among the races” (Dates and Barlow, 67). The images of the dominant philosophy in popular media have power because its messages seem conventional since they continuously repeated in public spaces. Film captures our imagination, often more than in reality; thus, grasping our social insights of black men through misrepresentations of them on screen. These imprecisions are just an indication of systemic racism in

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