A Raisin in the Sun and African-American Stereotypes

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African-American stereotypes have evolved during the last 400 years, beginning with slave trade around the mid-fifteenth century. Slave traders targeted and captured blacks because they believed they were creatures without souls intended for hard labor and intense physical work. It was common for white colonists, settlers and slave traders to spread myths and misconceptions to induce even more fear and hatred amongst them.  During slavery, images, myths and stereotypes of blacks continued to hinder their progress for centuries. Societal stereotypes of blacks is evident in the fact that blacks were counted as only "three-fifths" of a person, denied citizenship and separated from whites because they were believed to be inferior and less intelligent. Consequently, Jim Crow laws and other mandated societal segregation regulations were established, which kept the races apart and whites ignorant of what black culture and life was truly about. This ignorance was clearly present in the entertainment industry; African-Americans were generally portrayed as intellectually, economically, and culturally inadequate, and soliciting or in constant need of assistance from white Americans and others. These stereotypes of challenged African-Americans in matters such as family, culture, education, and wealth were common in films, television shows, and theatrical productions. In centuries before and during the first half of the 20th century blacks were still often portrayed as poor, animalistic, uncivilized, un-Christian people. The early Anglo-Saxon colonists brought these initial thoughts with them to the US. White colonists commonly believed that blacks were inferior to white people. These thoughts helped to justify black slavery and the institution of many laws that continually condoned inhumane treatment and perpetuated to keep black people in a lower socioeconomic position. Black people were usually depicted as slaves or servants, working in cane fields or carrying...
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