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African American Stereotypes

Hello February, the shortest month of the year, the month filled with love and Valentine’s, the month to celebrate America’s forty-five presidents but most importantly Happy Black History Month. The month to be unapologetically black just like any other month, and embrace the skin that we are in. Starting off by putting an end to all those ridiculous stereotypes that are placed upon African Americans and their culture. Stereotypes have been placed on African Americans since history can date back to.

“Blackface”

One of the oldest and most historic stereotypes of an African American is portraying them in black faces and making the character act in ignorant and dehumanizing roles. In plays, these characters facial features were overly enhanced to make them look foolish, like toothy smiles, plump red lips, big behinds, etc.  The same features that are made fun of are the same ones, that are now imitated; such as lip injections, Botox, and butt injections. These characters typically were ignorant, superstitious, religious, and of course extremely dark skinned. Some famous historic blackface characters are Jim Crow, Jezebel, Sambo, and Mammy.

“Drug Dealers and Crack Victims”

Another more modern stereotype is African Americans being portrayed as drug dealers or crack fiends on television shows and in the media. People automatically assume that black men from the hood are drug dealers, sons of drug dealers, cousins, etc. The most publicized violent crimes on news networks are usually ones that involve African Americans. When facts show White and Hispanic youth are more likely to use alcohol and drugs and have substance abuse disorders. African Americans receive the short end of the stick when it comes to being targeted, jailed, and arrested for drug-related crimes. Whites are so “afraid” of the African American male that they would rather lock our men up for any reason to feel more “safe”.

“Angry Black Woman”

Everyone knows that black women are known to be “angry” in reference to being outspoken, aggressive, and have unacceptable behavior. Angry black woman stereotype also goes hand in hand with how people depict an independent black woman; a woman that is financially stable and emasculates males because of her status. An “angry black woman” is known to be controlling while in places of education or workplace. There is a downfall to this stereotype for black women knowing what is thought of them as they tend to silence themselves in these settings. The stereotypes placed upon black women end up affecting them mentally and emotionally because they are afraid of being called angry. They suppress their feelings and emotions allowing them to build up. Angry Black Women are constantly in the media for instance; Pam from Martine, Yvette from Baby Boy, Eva from Deliver from Us from Eva, and Angela from Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?

Stereotypes of African Americans has been going on for centuries. While we may like to think we are becoming more accepted in this society, things are just getting worse. Every day, there is a new stereotype and negativity placed upon our race as a whole. Blackface, Drug Dealers and Crack Victims, and Angry Women are just a few of the many stereotypes that African Americans have to deal with on a regular basis in public, the workplace, and academic settings.

Mia is funny, creative, and caring. She is a Junior Marketing Major at Hampton University from Charlotte, North Carolina. One of her favorite things to do is eat, eat, eat. Little girl big girl appetite. She also enjoys watching all the ratchet and drama filled "reality" shows. Mia enjoys being surrounded by friends and family. She is a great listener and advice giver. She lives by the motto what is for you will be for you, and that God always has a plan for you no matter how down and out you may be, so trust in him and the purpose he has laid out for you. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
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