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 had an opportunity to meet with Ryan O’Doherty, Mayor’s Director of Policy and Communications in Baltimore City April 20. O’Doherty answered questions about the mayoral initiative, Vacants to Value, that I’m researching.
He surprised me and impressed me.
Granted, my expectations were low. I thought that O’Doherty would have two or three public relations-type quotes for me. I only went on the field trip because I wanted to provide a ride to a car-less classmate of mine.
I’m very glad that I went.
I recognize that O’Doherty sees Baltimore’s vacants from the governmental side of the issue. His perspective has to be positive and persuasive because the city government needs public support for the plan. Of course people are going to be displaced and displeased. There are going to be victims. But he can’t admit that.
See a clip of the interview
An older White lady stands in an elevator, two large Black men step in with her. She steps backward and noticeably tightens the grip on her purse.
The two Black men see this, look at each other and start laughing hysterically.
The next day, the woman receives a note that says:
Thanks for the best laugh we’ve had in years.
Michael Jordon and Charles Barkley
This story’s authenticity is highly debatable. But Professor John Bullock told it to my Urban Government and Politics class a few weeks ago. Then I saw this hilarious video on YouTube.com by Reckless Tortuga.
This is the third part of a five-part series. Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University who teaches a class called Mass Media and Society, delves into the issue of the negative black stereotypes that are reinforced, and the impact of their media portrayals.
This segment comments on whether President Obama’s election has allowed more racism in America, how much “Black blood” a person has to have to be “Black enough,” how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go in the fight against racism, and that the current depictions of Black people in media are reinforced by their success.
The best quotes:
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: