This book chronicles an aspect of African-American history that has heretofore been ignored. Former slaves who were freed by President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, were overjoyed in their newfound freedom. However, the legacy of slavery did not wash away as easily as snow does on a rainy day. Instead, the remnants of slavery clung to the liberal Northerners and the Southerners in the land of Dixie in the same way that Southern belles have become a staple of the Southern plantation. In other words, certain images that were dominant during slavery have been carefully transferred to contemporary society.
The concept of race and the stereotypes associated with it enabled the dominant group to view members of the subordinate group as inferior and to treat them accordingly. Stereotypes were used as a mechanism to reinforce and justify slavery.
In 1932 Katz and Braly ( 1933) conducted the first study of ethnic stereotypes at Princeton University. The paradigm created by these researchers has served as a model for most subsequent research in this area. To conduct the study 100 students were given a list of 84 traits and asked to select which they thought were typical of a particular ethnic group. Such traits as superstitious, lazy, dirty, and ignorant headed the list in frequency of attribution to African-Americans (Brigham, 1971).
William Van DeBurg ( 1984), in his work Slavery and Race in American Popular Culture, discusses the evolution of stereotypes associated with blacks from slavery into modern American society. "As outcasts in a whitedominated society, blacks alternately were portrayed as feeble-willed noble