Minority Trope Representation in AMC’s The Walking Dead Essay

Minority Trope Representation in AMC’s The Walking Dead Essay

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The Walking Dead is a television show produced by AMC based off the black and white comic books by Robert Kirkman. The show and comic book center around main character Rick Grimes as he learns to cope with life after waking up from a deadly wound into an outbreak of virus wielding undead creatures known as “walkers.” Over the course of season two and season three, the show starts to center around how Rick is able to command the group of survivors and the challenges they face trying to settle down in a safe area. They are confronted with another community nearby late in season three along with the increasing number of walkers in the area. While facing these challenges, the number of surviving members continues to dwindle; however, the minority ratio in the group remains below the average number of majority characters in the show.
The “token minority” trope follows the concept of a minority figure that has little or no significance to the plot line of the story and is placed there for possible racial discussions or as a source of drama later in the film or show (“Token Minority”). So what relation does this have to a larger role in films? Over time, there is a progression of how a minority fits within any genre and if their role is significant enough to help them survive within a group that eventually forms. The third trope minorities, especially blacks, are associated with is the “magical negro.” This is a trope wherein minorities get a chance to prove they are not bad people and can offer powerful insight or prove useful in situations (“Magical Negro”).
Since minorities have gained a more significant role in movies, it begs the question: what happens to them after they become the “magical negro” in the horror genre? Does the min...


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...th, D. (2011). Bloodletting [Television series episode]. In The Walking Dead. New York: AMC.
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Jankowski, S. (2011, April 20). Protocol Z. Textaural. Retrieved November 18, 2013, from http://textaural.com/protocolz/assets/sjank-protocolz_v12.pdf
Magical Negro. (n.d.). TVTropes. Retrieved November 13, 2013, from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicalNegro
Mentor Occupational Hazard. (n.d.). TVTropes. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MentorOccupationalHazard
Positive Discrimination. (n.d.). TVTropes. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PositiveDiscrimination
Token Minority. (n.d.). TVTropes. Retrieved November 14, 2013, from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TokenMinority

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