The Racist Annihilation of African Identity and Culture
Below are examples of the newspaper comics and advertising that perpetuated dehumanizing labels, concepts and ideology to demean and demoralize Africans as human beings and their existence in America. The main idea was to teach and subconsciously ingrain a virulent hatred and staunch disrespect for Africans among the so-called white population.
“Negro” Assimilation into European Cultural Norms
Across innumerable generations, Europeans have exacted didactic use of demeaning terms, ideologies, institutional systemic policies, practices and economic and political structures toward and upon Africans in America. These words, ideas and actions presented in the public forum, were a conduit for mass indoctrination to create contempt and hatred toward and upon the African. The Africans left largely vacuous, down trodden and illiterate from slavery were already steeped in self-hatred yet, still endured the hurtful arrows, stings and heartbreak of relentless public insults and slander. For Africans to have long endured such animus, only to have the critical outcome be ubiquitous disadvantage and ever present oppression.
Some of the racist terms consistently used toward Africans during slavery, Jim Crow segregation and beyond are tar baby, jungle bunny, darkey, dusky, nigger, negress, spade, coon, cliff ape, crispy, dinge, dootie, eight ball, field nigger, geechee, ghetto, gutter or porch monkey, horse gums, inky, liver lips, nappy head, sambo, skillet, pickaninny, mammy, jigaboo, smoke or smokey, sooty, spook, boy and girl. The pervasive use of these terms has caused significant harm to the African psyche and level of self-esteem.
Historically, Africans in America have gone to great lengths to gain acceptance within so-called white society by endeavoring to change their appearance. This was and continues to be practiced through the use of skin bleach, cosmetics, various hair straightening methods, wigs/weaves and modern day plastic surgery. However, this assimilationist behavior is largely deep seated self-hatred initiated by indoctrination, inflicted through European chattel slavery terrorism. And later, perpetuated by post-slavery blackface entertainment, racist pseudo-science and literature, racist exaggerated animalistic artistic caricatures, poetry using pejorative terms for Africans, newspaper articles, short stories, comic strips and movies depicting Africans as filthy, violent, deplorable, ignorant and depraved; also toys and advertisements that present Africans as amoral and less than human, objects of manipulation and perpetual servants.
Racism (White Supremacy), Jim Crow Segregation & The War On Black Lives
The Dred Scott Decision of March 6, 1857 seems to have taken on a life of its own in the hearts and minds of many who feel superior to Africans in America or who just have a deep sense of contempt and hatred toward them. The Supreme Court decision stated that slaves and their descendants had, “no rights that a white man was bound to respect.” Check out the complete decision below:
“In the opinion of the court, the legislation and histories of the times, and the language used in the Declaration of Independence, show, that neither the class of persons who had been imported as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were then acknowledged as a part of the people, nor intended to be included in the general words used in that memorable instrument…They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” Chief Justice Roger B. Taney
Sign-carrying participants in the southern leg of the Poor People’s Campaign march through Atlanta, May 10, 1968. The group goes to middle Georgia as the next step in the march toward Washington. (AP Photo)
Striking members of Memphis Local 1733 hold signs whose slogan symbolized the sanitation workers’ 1968 campaign. 1968
A group of demonstrators holding signs reading ‘Union Justice Now’, ‘Honor King: End Racism!’ and ‘I Am A Man’ march in protest soon after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memphis, TN, April 1968. (Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)