Blackface: The Depiction of non-White Races in the Media Essay

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For the millions of people around the world, the television and film industry is more than just a form of entertainment, but also a way of understanding and getting a glimpse into the culture it is created from. Unfortunately, many of these representations continue to perpetuate disturbing racial stereotypes and further promote racial discrimination. Many individuals think that racism no longer exists, but a quick survey of the films and television shows currently out would suggest otherwise. Blatant racism can be seen in Hollywood blockbuster movies like Transformers where two “jive-talking” robot characters present racial caricatures, they speak in “street slang”, can't read, and wear gold tooth pieces. More subtle racism can be noted …show more content…
dressed in high style and spoke in a series of malaprops and puns that undermined his attempts to appear dignified. (black-face.com)” Then there was Mammy, a stereotype which showed a dark skinned, mother figure that walked and talked with sass and allowed no back talk. Uncle Tom, a mild mannered, religious and sober man who behaved in a subservient manner to whites. Buck, a large, menacing black man with an affinity for white women. Jezebel, usually males dressed in female garb and Mullato, a character that often passed as white until discovered as being black and usually suffered a tragic fate. Last, Picaninnies which were presented as have “bulging eyes, unkempt hair, red lips and wide mouths (black-face.com)” and were always eating watermelons. This act of putting on Blackface shaped the perception of black entertainers into that of mocking caricatures and led to the belief that Blacks were racially and socially inferior. Rarely were blacks portrayed as intelligent characters with real stories. Perhaps most disturbing of this act was the fact that Blacks were not allowed to represent themselves. And for many years, white men continued to play roles of black characters in Blackface and Blacks were not given roles in film or television. Today, Blacks are still discriminated against in television and film. Most black males worldwide are viewed as gangstas, thugs, goons, drug dealers, users and deadbeat parents. This view has been perpetuated

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