African Americans as a group have been primarily stereotyped as animalistic
brutes in American culture: physically rather than intellectually oriented,
hedonistic, criminal-minded, violent, and willing to rape. They are more likely to
be portrayed as unrestrained, hot-tempered, and profane than Whites or others in
movies and television shows.
The counterpoint to the young male image is the female "Mammy archetype";
often this mature woman is portrayed as grossly overweight, poorly made up and
dressed in gaudy clothing, but genial, churchgoing and spiritual to the point of
delusion, and passive in the face of White authority. Aunt Jemima and the Hattie
McDaniel's character from the film Gone With The Wind are standard portrayals
of this stereotype. "Lord Have Mercy" is a phrase often associated with this character, in
contrast to the ghetto dialect, profanity, and general disrespect of young males.
Young African American females are often stereotyped as promiscuous, generally
ill-kept with the exception of hair extensions and fake nails, verbally loud, greedy
and self-serving. They are considered "Welfare Queens" and baby machines
incapable of experiencing love. As a result, the stereotype can be physically and
sexually abused without the guilt which normally would accompany the act.
Mature African American males have a rich history of negative stereotypes
including Uncle Tom and "house nigger", the subservient Pullman Porter and
loyal butler, or the Uncle Remus character, always willing to tell a story to the
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"African American Stereotypes." StudyMode.com. 11, 2006. Accessed 11, 2006. http://www.studymode.com/essays/African-American-Stereotypes-100616.html.