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African Americans in Contemporary Media Landscape - Article Example

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This paper “African Americans in Contemporary Media Landscape” will discuss how social power and ideology has helped shape African Americans as presented on contemporary TV programs. Television steadily presents to viewers a steady stream of stereotypes…
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African Americans in Contemporary Media Landscape
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Download file to see previous pages Over the years, many people who immigrated to America from various countries and continents in pursuit of various goals are also considered to be African Americans. African Americans are often associated with black skin and Africa. For a long time in the history of America, African Americans were considered to be inferior to their white counterparts and, therefore, suffered the consequences of racial segregation. Furthermore, the Black Americans, as they are sometimes referred to, have greatly been associated with poverty, drugs, violence, ghettos, and crime.
African Americans have been subject to a lot of stereotypes since the days of slavery. As a minority group in the U.S., they have mostly been associated with negative aspects, behavior or lifestyles even as their white counterparts are often associated with a lot of good. In many television programs, African Americans always take minor roles or play second fiddle to the main actors. Also, in terms of representation, they are always fewer in number in the television programs in which they are featured. Stereotypes may be positive, neutral or negative. In many cases, the African American is always depicted as being servile, simpleminded, slow-witted, primitive, drug addicts, poor, aggressive, criminal, overweight (for females), lazy, athletic, gifted to make music, and religious as noted by the M3 Foundation (n.d.). This list of stereotypes is all negative except for athletic and musical gift stereotypes. In some cases, African Americans are also depicted as having no jobs in spite of their education which leads them to remain poor. These depictions of the African American in television shows and films generally serve to reinforce the negative attitudes that whites have towards the Black Americans.
African American Stereotypes as Presented on Contemporary TV Programs
In Bravo's Top Chef, one stereotype that is assigned to the African American is aggression. In the second season of the show, one of the characters in the TV program is an African American male called Cliff. All the while, Cliff is depicted as a very talented chef.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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