Friday, September 11, 2009
Black Minstrelsy Still in the Media
I have never seen the show Mad Men but I have heard some good things about it. Actually let me take that back! I have only heard reference of the show while watching one of my favorite shows Entourage. Shout out to my guy Turtle! In regards, to the blackface minstrelsy you referred to that took place in one of the episodes of Mad Men The actor kinda looks like Uncle Ben or the crème of wheat dude. LOL. Although I feel this is one of the most disrespectful and degrading forms of entertainment. It is one of the first forms of popular culture ever created in the United States of America. It is ironic that you have brought this subject to the forefront because I recently have studied this form popular culture last semester. Whites who performed and depicted the uneducated, lazy, rhythmic, and joyful enslaved black had no idea how influential and detrimental this would be to the black community and black identity for future blacks like myself. Blackface Minstrelsy only perpetuated the stereotypes accompanied with being black and gave those of other ethnicities a sense of superiority. I can’t even count how many times people have assumed I love chicken, watermelon, and that I can dance really well. It’s a slap in the face that these actors would even color their faces with charcoal and enhance their features such as the lips. They portray the characteristics of blacks to be unattractive and savage like. I think it is important that we don’t forget that this type of entertainment is part of America’s history because it is still prevalent in advertising and popular culture today such as Aunt Jemimah. But us, as African Americans, should do everything in our power to not live up to these ridiculous depictions and stereotypes. As for Mad Men, I hope they do fined a better way to incorporate blacks into their story line and still hold the essence relative to that time period.