Black Caricatures

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Last week the class watched a movie/insert on black caricatures. Most people, especially youth, would view the caricatures as being comical and quite entertaining. I actually found some of the parts comical. But what people in today’s society fail to realize is that those cartoons were created solely to insult an entire race of people. Black caricatures are over exaggerated drawings of black people. These drawings were created by white people during the early 1900s as a mockery of the black human race. The cartoons, known as caricatures, were drawn to highlight only the typical stereotypes of black people such as over exaggerated big lips, extra dark skin, nappy/kinky hair, and ignorant behavior. The main purpose of the caricatures was to degrade black people and make them feel more inferior than they really were. The sad part is that every major societal institution found a way to somehow justify the ignorant behavior. It was preached in churches that blacks were condemned to be servants and that they were completely inferior to the white race. Blacks were portrayed to be nothing but stupid humans and only had the purpose to serve and entertain whites. Following this is the word “nigger”. This word is widely used today amongst black people, both young and old. It is common and is a form of communication but it was not always used in this way. NIGGER was a very (and still is in some cases) a very derogatory word. It was the ultimate American insult and is also used to insult other ethnic groups. Jews are called “white niggers”, Arabs are called “sand niggers”, and Asians are called “yellow niggers” (Green). So the word in general was never intended for positive use. But what amazes me is HOW did the word “nigger” (or commonly spelled “nigga”) become such a highly used word among black people when we are already well aware of the TRUE meaning behind the word? Green, Jonathan. 1985. The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang. New York: Stein and Day, p. 190....
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