Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

By Marilyn Kern-Foxworth | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
SEPARATE AND DEFINITELY NOT EQUAL: FREQUENCY OF BLACKS IN ADVERTISING

Someone hands you a picture of your high-school class. The first thing you do is look for yourself. Then you look for your friends to see how you look compared to them. Then you settle back and enjoy the picture as a whole. If you missed school that day and you're not in the picture, you'd feel bad. But if someone arbitrarily cropped you out, you'd probably be angry. That's how many blacks feel about much of the advertising presented about them.

Caroline Jones, President Caroline Jones Agency

During the 1960s blacks fought for more than integration in housing, education, and employment. Recognizing the power of advertising to influence race relations and to ameliorate the perceptions that blacks held of themselves, they also fought for integrated advertising -- "any advertising message using black and white models together or black models alone in a medium directed at a mass audience" ( Foote, Cone, and Belding, 1970).

Advertising, operating as the economic support of the mass media, has been a pervasive part of the way we live since the first newspaper advertisement appeared in Germany in 1525, the first American magazine advertisement, for a ferry, appeared in Benjamin Franklin General Magazine on May 10, 1741 ( Rankin, 1980, p. 8), and since the first television commercial aired, for the Bulova Watch Company on WNBT in New York, in 1941 ( Gardner, 1983, p. 14). Over the years researchers, historians, sociologists, and psychologists have determined that advertising

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Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • References xxi
  • Chapter 1 - Slave Advertisements: A Mirror to the "Peculiar Institution" 1
  • Notes 25
  • References 26
  • Chapter 2 - Memories of the Way We Were: Blacks in Early Print and Electronic Advertising 29
  • Notes 41
  • References 41
  • Chapter 3 - Myths, Lies, and Stereotypes: Black Advertising Symbols, Characters, and Models 43
  • References 58
  • Chapter 4 - Aunt Jemia: The Most Battered` Woman in America Rises to the Top 61
  • Appendix: Chronology of Important Dates in the History of Aunt Jemima 107
  • Notes 108
  • References 109
  • Chapter 5 Invisible Consumers: Gaining Equal Representation for Blacks in Advertising 115
  • Notes 127
  • References 127
  • Chapter 6 - Separate and Definitely Not Equal: Frequency of Blacks in Advertising 131
  • Notes 146
  • References 146
  • Chapter 7 - Blacks in Advertising: Critics Give Two Thumbs Up 149
  • Notes 163
  • References 164
  • Chapter 8 - Epilogue: Colorizing Advertising: a 21st-Century Challenge 167
  • Notes 172
  • References 172
  • Appendix: African-American Museums and Resource Centers 175
  • Selected Bibliography 183
  • Index 191
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