MEMORIES OF THE WAY WE WERE: BLACKS IN EARLY PRINT AND ELECTRONIC ADVERTISING
I am black.
I am sure you did not know this when you made/laughed at/agreed with that racist remark. In the past, I have attempted to alert white people to my racial identity in advance. Unfortunately, this invariably causes them to react to me as pushy, manipulative, or socially inappropriate. Therefore, my policy is to assume that white people do not make these remarks, even when they believe there are no black people present, and to distribute this card when they do.
I regret any discomfort my presence is causing you, just as I am sure you regret the discomfort your racism is causing me.
Sincerely yours, Adrian Margaret Smith Piper My Calling (Card) #1, 1986 1
Racist overtones in advertising were the norm before the Civil War ended. After the Civil War blacks were free to begin their own communities, own their own homes, open businesses, and become members of the buying public -- a viable consumer market. Their status in society changed, but this was not reflected in the advertising prevalent during the period. Most advertisers created campaigns targeted toward white audiences; they used blacks in their advertising, but in demeaning and stereotypical postures that appealed to the white majority.
During the 19th century advertising prospered. The Industrial Revolution
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Publication information: Book title: Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus:Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Contributors: Marilyn Kern-Foxworth - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 29.
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