Skimming the Surface on Stereotypes

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Monday in class we discussed racial stereotypes of different social groups. There were many things that I agreed with, but one in particular that I found particularly annoying was a Youtube video on stereotypes of the African-American woman. Being a Black woman myself who has done some extensive research and took certain classes to better help me understand who I am in America, I did not expect this video to truly captivate the stereotypes that Black women face and then develop a solution to those problems. However, this video seemed so hastily thought out that I felt slightly offended. Up until we reached the end of the video, I almost assumed that someone who was not an African-American woman must have created it. The video skims the surface of more deeply rooted stereotypes that exist within the stereotypes that were displayed. Perhaps the biggest issue that I had was how the creator only touched on the more noted stereotypes of today; calling them out and then giving very Websteresque definitions to each. The video was intended for young Black girls (as the last minute suggested) but the problems with stereotypes are much stronger than just bringing them to the forefront. Racial self-esteem issues for African-Americans have been occurring since we existed as inhabitants of this country as a result of majority views of the African-American as well as slave tactics used to control and demoralize an African-American people.

As my people have seen these self-esteem issues arise far after the freedom of slaves almost 200 years ago, and there is much evidence of reason for those issues, it would seem surprising how much we perpetuate stereotypes and hurt each other with our actions. It is those same “slave tactics” discussed earlier in this text, or the Willie Lynch novels as they are better known, that attribute to the [for lack of a better phrase] the ass-backward traits that African-American people as a whole exhibit. We kill each other.  We demoralize our women. And our men are suffering an ordeal that seems impossible to change for the better. And who is to blame for these atrocities? That question I do not believe will ever have a problem-solving answer, however, it is important to understand that the answer is not in a 4 minute video defining stereotypes. We as African-Americans need to dig much deeper than that to solve the problem.

So, black girls: I certainly want you to love yourselves, but I should first learn to teach you how.


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