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STEREOTYPE. Many African American images in film are considered to be stereotypes that represent preset patterns of speech, actions, or personalities that degrade or reflect upon the subject in a negative way. Many of these depictions were merely throwbacks from the characters and comedy routines from the vaudeville stage. In the early days when there was a limited black presence on the screen, many of these stereotypical depictions were thought to represent the entire race, and often, for the sake of comedy, were purposely meant to undermine and belittle them. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights organizations have constantly fought for the elimination of such negative portrayals on the screen. There has been much progress, but the practice has not been totally eliminated, and many modern versions of these old and disgraceful characters can still be seen on the screen today. The most criticized examples of black stereotypes are:

The Sambo is a black man with child-like ways. He is usually docile and happy with a wide grin. Helen Bannerman first established this character in the popular children’s book The Little Black Sambo . This stereotype has been used in many of the Tarzan and African jungle-based films, and has morphed into other modern-day on-screen interpretations.

The Uncle Tom is a faithful, older, black male servant. He is well behaved and respectful of the master despite being mistreated and disrespected. The most well-known Uncle Tom appeared in Uncle Tom’s Cabin , 1914, the film that gave birth to the name, based on the book by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The Coon is a lazy, worthless black man. He talks slowly in an ethnic dialect and walks slowly sometimes slumped over. He is considered stupid and illiterate. Stepin Fetchit was both criticized and acclaimed for opening doors in Hollywood with his portrayal of the typical coon character in films like Judge Priest , 1934, and its remake The Sun Shines Bright , 1953.

The Zip Coon is a crude, stupid, and trifling buffoon who often makes a fool of himself. An obnoxious personality, ill-fitting and loud clothes are typical traits. He also has difficulty understanding and pronouncing big words. Willie Best in Ghost Breakers , 1940, is one of the best-known zip coon caricatures.

The Mammy is a loyal servant and nurturing mother figure. She is usually heavy-set, and considered asexual as a woman. She is depicted with a strong and controlling personality, Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind , 1939.

The Black Buck or Savage Brute is a violent, angry black male. He tends to have a violent nature and an uncontrollable sexual appetite, often for white women. The quintessential example is perhaps Gus or Silas Lynch from the film Birth of a Nation , 1915.

The Pickanny is a black child with his or her hair uncombed, nappy, and often shooting straight up on the head. With clothes that are sometimes dirty and raggedy, they are usually depicted as dim-witted. Stymie and Buckwheat, two of the Little Rascals in The Our Gang series, are early examples.

The Tragic Mulatto stereotype reflects a mixed-race child, the product of a black/white relationship. They are usually light-skinned and attempt to pass for white in a society that considers black a bad thing. Being chronically unhappy and confused are standard traits. The Peola role in both the 1934 and 1959 versions of Imitation of Life was a tormented mulatto stereotype.

The Jezebel stereotype involves a sexually loose, hot, erotic black woman. It evolved during slavery to justify the rape and other sexual violence that occurred between white men and slave women. One of the most prominent historical examples is Nina Mae McKinney in Hallelujah! 1929.

Stern, Madeleine Bettina (1912–) - U.S. Women’s History [next] [back] Stereoscopic and Multi-View Video Coding Standards

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over 5 years ago

Thanks a lot .... MSG me ;P