kept them emotionally bound to the idiosyncratic whims of their former masters. With advertising, former slaveowners became masters over different objects. They made them subservient. They made them docile. They made them act stupid. They made them appear ignorant. They made them ugly. They made them grotesque. They made them want to be white. If it were domestic work or menial labor, blacks could do it the best. Blacks could bake it, shake it and make it the best. Blacks could wash it the cleanest and then they could press it the smoothest. Blacks could serve anyone, anytime, anywhere, anything the best. Sometimes they polished it so well that they rubbed the black right off their charcoal black skin the best and lo and behold they became white. And advertisers discovered that blacks advertised their subservience the best. Advertisers used little black pickaninnies with braids and spindly legs, tar black Sambos with oversized rubbery red lips and large bugging eyes and overweight mammies to sell everything from cigarettes to cereals.
These symbols not only continued but proliferated around the turn of the century with the overwhelming success of Uncle Ben, The Gold Dust Twins, Rastus and Aunt Jemima.
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Edmerson Estelle. 1954. A Descriptive Study of the American Negro in United States Professional Radio, 1922- 1953. Master's thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.
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