Thick Face Black Heart Essay

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Images of the Sambo, Jim Crow, the Savage, Mammy, Aunt Jemimah, Sapphire, and Jezebelle may not be as powerful today, yet they are still alive.

One of the most enduring stereotypes in American history is that of the Sambo (Boskin, 1986).

The response was also wildly enthusiastic as 26 million Americans went to the movies to see Al Jolson in the "Jazz Singer" (Boskin 1986).

Movies were, and still are, a powerful medium for the transmission of stereotypes.

White women, men and children across the country embraced the image of the fat, wide-eyed, grinning black man.

It was perpetuated over and over, shaping enduring attitudes toward African-Americans for centuries. Rice is the acknowledged "originator" of the American blackface minstrelsy.As an accommodation to this law, African-Americans developed a shuffling dance in which their feet never left the ground.The physically impaired man Rice saw dancing in this way became the prototype for early minstrelsy (Engle 1978).It is essential to realize the vast scope of this stereotype.It was transmitted through music titles and lyrics, folk sayings, literature, children's stories and games, postcards, restaurant names and menus, and thousands of artifacts (Goings, 1994).The "foppish" black caricature, Jim Crow, became the image of the black man in the mind of the white western world (Engle, 1978).This image was even more powerful in the north and west because many people never had come into contact with African-American Laura Green Virginia Commonwealth University As human beings, we naturally evaluate everything we come in contact with.We especially try to gain insight and direction from our evaluations of other people.It has been argued that "[t]he image of the minstrel clown has been the most persistent and influential image of blacks in American history" (Engle, 1978, p. Words from the folk song "Jim Crow," published by E.Riley in 1830, further demonstrate the transmission of this stereotype of African-Americans to society: "I'm a full blooded niggar, ob de real ole stock, and wid my head and shoulder I can split a horse block.


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