African Americans and the Media Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:15
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African Americans are subject to stereotypes as if these stereotypes classify us as the type of people we are. Television shows tend to portray African Americans as loud, aggressive, violent, unfashionable and lacking etiquette. Examples of this are liberal shows such as The Boondocks and Family Guy. Both shows glorify behaviors that would make society assume African Americans are Ghetto. Family Guy and The Boondocks mock stereotypes of African Americans in a way that I find humorous but some viewers might find offensive.

The Boondocks is a show that demonstrates the ignorance within our society particularly with African Americans. It revolves around a young African American family from Chicago, Illinois who move to a fictional suburban Woodcrest. The main characters are Huey Freeman, a 10-year-old boy who is candid and autonomous; Riley Freeman, an 8-year-old boy who idolizes Hip Hop culture and considers himself a gangster and Robert Freeman also referred to Granddad who is the overly abusive parent who just wants to enjoy his retirement.

The Freemans represent a typical African American family from an urban area. Even though the intent is to highlight the negatives in black communities I can relate to the content and its characters. I do agree with the stereotypes of the characters but I can see how it may send out the wrong message about African Americans as people. Riley Freeman for instance is a prime example of how the media portrays African Americans as loud, aggressive, violent, and unfashionable. He wears oversized clothes, has cornrows, and is very vulgar.

Throughout the series, Riley constantly refers to others as N*ggas, Hoes and other derogatory terms. His grandfather, Robert Freeman, sometimes does not approve of Rileys actions so he enforces his rules with violence. African American parents are usually mocked for using corporal punishment towards their kids as a form of discipline. In season 1 episode 4 of The Boondocks, they refer to something called a n*gga moment. According to the show, a n*gga moment is A moment where ignorance overwhelms the mind of an otherwise logical Negro male causing them to act in an illogical, self-destructive manner. I. E. , like a n*gga.

They are trying to say that black people cannot avoid altercations by any means because thats who they are. A white man is shown bumping into a black male. The white male walks away because he says he is white while the black male tries to antagonize him to escalate the situation. This implies that white people can be civilized while black people are violent. Family Guy is the kind of show thats mocks everybody but it shows how people can purely associate actions with African Americans.

In season 7 episode 5 of Family Guy, Peter Griffin is shown working as a secretary at a firm. He is wearing long acrylic nails and his body language is in lack of a better term ghetto. Peter gets a phone call from a person by the name of Laronda, he then says Hey Laronda. No I have four people on hold but I can talk. Peter is a white male but I made an inference from the use of the name Laronda, the acrylic nails and him being unproductive at work that they are stereotyping African American female receptionist.

This shows how influential media portrayal can be. African Americans are misrepresented by shows such as Family Guy and The Boondocks which portrays them, as people who do not have decorum, who are boisterous and have bad grammar by associating them with actions that would make society perceive them in that manner. The media & television constantly reinforce these images. The media conditions the mind to think a certain way and people give into it without thinking for themselves.

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