This is the fourth of a five-part interview about the racist media portrayals of African Americans. Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University, teaches a class called Mass Media and Society.
The previous segment ended with Sullivan saying, “In successful shows that the producers, the networks, so far and so forth are never going to change [media depictions of African Americans] as long as they remain successful. And they’re going to continue to be perpetuated.”
I asked Sullivan what it would take to change that, and he tells two stories two small victories that assisted African Americans in media.
The best quotes:
I’m starting to understand why Black people have given up hope on white people in the racism debate.
(Photo courtesy of ToonPool.com)
It’s because when white people hear that voter literacy tests were used to keep Black people from voting, they’re upset because it’s obviously prejudiced (though they say “racist”) to ignore that, to an extent, white immigrants were also excluded from voting because of it.
It’s because when white people hear about those little Black struggles in (oh-so-ancient) history like slavery, mass lynchings, and Jim Crow laws, white people ask what the current Black generation’s excuse is.
In honor of Lupe Fiasco‘s release of Lasers tomorrow, Mar 8, this Music Monday post is dedicated to Lupe‘s most recent release from the album, “Words I Never Said.”
This track and “The Show Goes On“ have a direct message about the indecency and corruption in American culture. And I’m putting it nicely. Just listen to the track “Words I Never Said.”
Lupe’s previous albums (Food & Liquor, The Cool) used sophisticated literary devices to speak to the issues that inner city culture and Black youth face. Both albums feature songs that are extended metaphors, the entire album, The Cool, is an extended metaphor, and Lupe personifies abstractions like The Cool, The Streets, and The Game to further reveal traits of the Black struggle. In The Coolest, he says, ”Streets got my heart, game got my soul.”
This is the second part of a five-part interview analyzing the negative portrayal of African Americans in the media with Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University.
My second question while interviewing Sullivan, a professor of Mass Media and Society, was regarding positive black role models in the media. Is there a shortage? Why? And what about Oprah’s fame versus criticism for helping other countries and neglecting the inner cities of America?
The best quotes: