African American women are considered the most disadvantaged group vulnerable to discrimination and harassment. Researchers have concluded that their racial and gender classification may explain their vulnerable position within society, despite the strides these women have made in education, employment, and progressing their families and communities (Chavous et al. 2004; Childs 2005; Hunter 1998; Settles 2006; Wilkins 2012). Most people agree that race and gender categories are explained as the biological differences between individuals in our society; however sociologists understand that race and gender categories are social constructions that are maintained on micro and macro levels. Historically, those in power who control the means of production Stereotypes strongly influence how people interact, communicate, and establish relationships with others around them (Fries-Britt and Griffin 2007). In mainstream America, black women are often stereotypically portrayed as sex workers, welfare queens, blue-collar service workers, video vixens, and entertainers (Collins 2004). Within these stereotypical depictions, black women are viewed as loud, angry, ghetto, hypersexual, and sometimes violent (Chavous et al. 2004; Childs 2005; Collins 2004; Nguyen & Anthony 2014; Wilkins 2012). In contrast, positive stereotypes of black women showcase them as strong, independent, resilient, loyal to their families and romantic partners, and responsible for sustaining the African American family. These images promote constructive illustrations of black women even though popularized images negatively portray black women (Chavous et al. 2004; Settles 2006; Wilkins 2012). These stereotypes of black women describe positive characteristics that many black women tend to ascribe to and attain. I argue that even though these stereotypes may yield positive behaviors from black women, they are still considered stereotypes because the majority will utilize these stereotypes to negatively categorize black women. In the words of Pat Hill Collins (2004: 263), “African American women’s race and gender classification disadvantages them”. Thus, these being black and being a woman. Scholars convey that African American women are involved in what’s called the “double threat” where membership in more than one oppressed social group results in cumulative risk outcomes (Brown 2000; Chavous et. al 2004; Childs 2005; Steele 1992; 1997). Black women may also experience stress due to unrealistic stereotypes. For example, research has revealed that black women experience “double threat” when they apply for housing from a white landlord. Results conclude that white landlords perceive black women as the “black single mother” stereotype, therefore they refuse to provide them with adequate housing (Iceland and Wilkes 2006; Roscigno et al. 2009). Black women actively seek to resist the positive and negative stereotypes for fear that embodying them will result in validation of those categorizations (Chavous et al. 2004; Fries-Britt & Griffin 2007; Rollock, Gillborn, Vincent & Ball 2011; Settles 2006; Steele 1997). Black women may not have intended to perpetuate stereotypes in the presence of others, but are subjected to social pressures to normalize these stereotypes for others and pigeonhole themselves in counteractive representations of black women (Childs 2005; Wilkins 2012). Steele (1992) described this process as “stereotype threat” which occurs when individuals perceive that negative stereotypes about their group as
Within the Black Community there are a myriad of stigmas. In Mary Mebane’s essay, “Shades of Black”, she explores her experiences with and opinions of intraracial discrimination, namely the stigmas attached to women, darker skinned women, and blacks of the working class. From her experiences Mebane asserts that the younger generation, those that flourished under and after the Civil Rights Movement, would be free from discriminating attitudes that ruled the earlier generations. Mebane’s opinion of a younger generation was based on the attitudes of many college students during the 1960’s (pars.22), a time where embracing the African culture and promoting the equality of all people were popular ideals among many young people. However, intraracial discrimination has not completely vanished. Many Blacks do not identify the subtle discriminatory undertones attached to the stigmas associated with certain types of Black people, such as poor black people, lighter/darker complexion black people, and the “stereotypical” black man/woman. For many black Americans aged eighteen to twenty-five, discrimination based on skin color, social class, and gender can be blatant.
All blondes are dumb. Gingers have no soul. All Jews are greedy. All Asians are bad drivers. Imagine living in a world where people are put into a category simply because of their appearance, race, or religion. It limits a person’s chance of expressing individuality through categorization. Desmond Cole’s article, “The Skin I’m In” introduces the struggles faced by black people through racial stereotypes in Canada— a country known for its diversity. Cole reveals the experiences of black people who are stereotyped as dangerous; as a result, they are victimized with prejudice, discrimination, and injustice by society.
In today’s society there are many stereotypes surrounding the black community, specifically young black males. Stereotypes are not always blatantly expressed; it tends to happen subconsciously. Being born as a black male puts a target on your back before you can even make an impact on the world. Majority of these negative stereotypes come from the media, which does not always portray black males in the best light. Around the country black males are stereotyped to be violent, mischievous, disrespectful, lazy and more. Black males are seen as a threat to people of different ethnicities whether it is in the business world, interactions with law enforcement or even being in the general public. The misperceptions of black males the make it extremely difficult for us to thrive and live in modern society. Ultimately, giving us an unfair advantage simply due to the color of our skin; something of which we have no control.
“Portraying African-American women as stereotypical mammies, matriarchs, welfare recipients, and hot mommas helps justify U.S. black women’s oppression” (Patricia Hill Collins, Feminist Thought Sister Citizen 51). In early American history, racial stereotypes played a significant role in shaping the attitude African Americans. Stereotypes such a mammy, jezebel, sapphire and Aunt Jemimah were used to characterize African American women. Mammy was a black masculine nursemaid who was in charge of the white children. The stereotype jezebel, is a woman who wants sex all the time. White Americans saw black women as loose, oversexed and immoral. This stereotype still lives today because men especially whites look for black women to be their prostitutes.
The negative representations of black male image are readily visible and conveyed to the public through the news, film, music videos, reality television and other programming and forms of media. In the media African American males are given a narrowed view they see of themselves. For example, African American characters with his pants hanging off his waist and underwear showing, to the super beyond belief athlete, or seeing a highly disproportionate number of African American faces are bombarded with negative images.
...owledge is unavailable to an individual such as a language barrier or rare interaction with one another, television provides society with images that influence and shape their perceptions. The higher the exposure, the more people are inclined to recall what they have viewed and apply it to their everyday lives and scenarios. Bill Cosby stated in 1994 that blacks in the media tended to be “menacing, untidy, rebellious, disrespectful, buffoonish, sexual, immoral, hopeless, untrained, uneducated and noisy” (Punyanunt-Carter 243). He concluded that most black roles were negative and stereotypical. These damaging –portrayals that do not shed a positive light on African Americans often focus on reaffirming harmful racial stereotypes.
Black women's experiences and those of other women of color have never fit the private -public model. Rather than trying to explain why Black women's work and family patterns deviate from the alleged norm, a more fruitful approach lies in challenging the very constructs of work and families themselves. ("Native")
I am a small town, young African American girl. I know first hand how racial stereotypes can affect someone 's life in a negative way. In the essays “Living in Two Worlds” by Marcus Mabry and “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples both authors explore the effects of racial stereotypes, using notably many similarities and differences throughout each essay.
Being a woman is hard work. We many have pressures on us from society to marry, bear children, be an upstanding citizen, and maintain some sort of career, all the while trying to understand our bodies and its changes; being a woman of color, or black woman, it’s even harder. Not only do we have to deal with everything a White woman does, and we also have the added pressure of defying stigmas and stereotypes within our own group of people. What stigma’s you ask? How about not being perceived as ignorant, uneducated, and or “ghetto”. The stereotypical misrepresentations of African-American women and men in popular culture have influenced societal views of Blacks for centuries. The typical stereotypes about Black women range from the smiling, asexual and often-obese Mammy to the promiscuous and the loud, smart mouthed, neck-rolling Black welfare mother is the popular image on reality television. These images portrayed in media and popular culture creates powerful ideology about race and gender, which affects every day experiences of Black women in America.
In Brent Staples article Black Men in Public Spaces, he recalled on times that he was perceived as a mugger, rapist, or burglar on the streets because of his appearance. He began by stating that his first “victim” was a white it wealthy woman in Chicago. After she avoided him, he realized that she was frightened by his presence-- large, black and intimidating. Other incidents, which include him being mistaken for a burglar, instilled anxiety to him. He quickly began to try and change his appearance and how others perceived him by whistling while walking down the streets. Staples used these experiences to show how racial stereotypes have reluctantly changed his behavior in order to be perceived by others in a different way.
Throughout history, as far back as one could remember, African- American men have been racially profiled and stereotyped by various individuals. It has been noted that simply because of their skin color, individuals within society begin to seem frightened when in their presence.In Black Men and Public Space, Brent Staples goes into elaborate detail regarding the stereotypical treatment he began to receive as a young man attending University of Chicago. He begins to explain incidents that took place numerous times in his life and assists the reader is seeing this hatred from his point of view. Staples further emphasizes the social injustices of people’s perception of African-American men to the audience that may have not necessarily experienced
Power is the ability to make laws and govern a certain area. Power is usually held by the government who determines how citizens should or should not act and also what rights people have. Power can also give the government the ability to discriminate against a certain race or group of people. For example, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt created Executive Order 9066 which ordered Japanese Americans to relocate to internment camps to “protect against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material.” Since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Americans were stereotyped as dangerous and disloyal to the United States. Another example of power was when the southern states passed literacy tests and poll taxes to prevent African Americans from voting in the late 1900s.
A black woman won’t face sexism and then racism independently of each other, but a racialized sexism that can only be understood by addressing them together. Modern day feminists have taken this idea and applied it to all aspects of life that can cause a person to face adversity or privilege, including but not limited to gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, religion, and nationality. Looking at someone’s individual situation as something with different facets of privilege and oppression has helped feminists to approach the movement in the way to help all women. My own experiences have come from the intersections between my white and socioeconomic privileges and the oppressions that I face as a woman. These oppressions and privileges stem from the patriarchal ideologies of the social superstructure and show how intersectionality is faced at the personal
During the antebellum time period stereotypes were a result of the misperceptions of blacks, based on white’s misconception of the black culture. Due to the fact, whites didn’t identify with the culture, because taking time to understand blacks was never necessary. Furthermore, whites formed these stereotypes to depict blacks in a negative light or how they expected them to behave. For example black males were either recognized as “Nat” a rebellious and aggressive slave whom can only be controlled by cruel punishments or death”, “Sambo” the happy slave whom loved to serve white folks, and lastly “ Jack” who is the faithful slave whom was rarely problematic, unless provoked and can be controlled by receiving whippings. Theses stereotypes have nothing to do with black people, but everything to do with whites justifying slavery and degrading blacks in