Arts and Entertainment


What are some stereotypical images of blacks in the film and television industry?

Black images in film and television were carryovers from those seen in literature, the musical stage, and other forms of entertainment for white audiences. Those commonly known were tom, coon, mammy, happy slave, devoted servant, petty thief, sexual superman, promiscuous woman, superstitious churchgoer, lazy, shiftless, and many more. D. W. Griffith’s film, The Birth of a Nation, is said to have created the most virulent stereotypes of blacks and was the most controversial Civil War-based film ever released in this nation. Released in 1915, the highly racist film covered the Civil War and Reconstruction era and served as a recruiting tool for the Ku Klux Klan.


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