Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, And Rastus

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Overview

This book provides a mirror to our past--a past that has been ignored or overshadowed for too long. From the foreword by Alex Haley

Kern-Foxworth chronicles the stereotypical portrayals of Blacks in advertising from the turn of the century to the present. Beginning with slave advertisements, she discusses how slavery led naturally to the stereotypes found in early advertisements. From the end of the slave era to the culmination of the Civil Rights movement, advertising portrayed Blacks as Aunt Jemimas, Uncle Bens, and Rastuses, and the author explores the psychological impact of these portrayals. With the advent of the Civil Rights movement, organizations such as CORE and NAACP voiced their opposition and became active in the elimination of such advertising. In the final chapters, the volume examines the reactions of consumers to integrated advertising and the current role of Blacks in advertising. Its truly novel subject matter and its inclusion of vintage and contemporary advertisements featuring Blacks make this a valuable work.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The portrayal of African Americans by the advertising industry has been at best stereotypic and two-dimensional and at worst demeaning or nonexistent. Kern-Foxworth (journalism, Texas A&M Univ.) chronicles African Americans' first appearances in advertisements in the United States (classified ads for the return of runaway slaves) to the modern celebrity endorsement spots of Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby. Most of her well-researched and -written book focuses on the early days of packaged goods when many of the stereotypically Jim Crow characters have their origins. The author does an excellent job of exploring the nuances of racial stereotyping. The only weaknesses are the occasional digressive cul-de-sac and the use of dated social science research to support the contemporary analysis. Recommended for history, black studies, and media studies collections.-Edward Buller, "Natural History," New York
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Product Details

Meet the Author

MARILYN KERN-FOXWORTH is Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism at Texas A&M University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Slave Advertisements: A Mirror to the "Peculiar Institution" 1
2 Memories of the Way We Were: Blacks in Early Print and Electronic Advertising 29
3 Myths, Lies, and Stereotypes: Black Advertising Symbols, Characters, and Models 43
4 Aunt Jemima: The Most Battered Woman in America Rises to the Top 61
5 Invisible Consumers: Gaining Equal Representation for Blacks in Advertising 115
6 Separate and Definitely Not Equal: Frequency of Blacks in Advertising 131
7 Blacks in Advertising: Critics Give Two Thumbs Up 149
8 Epilogue: Colorizing Advertising: A 21st-Century Challenge 167
Appendix: African-American Museums and Resource Centers 175
Selected Bibliography 183
Index 191
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