How do we remove negative black stereotypes from movies and television? Dr. Mark Sullivan reveals two small victories that helped black people in the media.

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:

Discussing racism and negative stereotypes of black people in movies and television with Mark Sullivan

I sat down with Dr. Mark Sullivan, an adjunct professor at Towson University who teaches a class called Mass Media and Society, and he gave a very in depth analysis of negative portrayal of African Americans in the media, the stereotypes that are reinforced, and the impact of these portrayals.

I first asked him to simply discuss racism issues and the stereotypes of black people in the media. This led to a talk about Tyler Perry’s opposing depictions of black characters in his movies and shows.


This is only the first part of a rather long interview, but the highlight of this piece can be summed up right here:

Click here for the best quote

Save your neighborhood economy. Just shop at three independent businesses a month.

The 3/50 Project encourages citizens to do the right thing by spending $50 a month in three locally owned businesses of their choice.

(Image courtesy of

The genius behind this project is that “for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spent that at a national chain only $48 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.”

“If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.”

So what’s the key of economic recovery in your neighborhood? YOU!

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Washing your hands a lot to avoid flu doesn’t have to dry them out

With healthy and moisturized hands, you may be able to hold the world.

You can show your healthy and moisturized hands to the world without fear this flu season. (Image courtesy of

During a visit to my dermatologist today (to have my severely dry hands checked), I learned that you don’t have to (and really shouldn’t) wash the backs of your hands with harsh soaps in order to remove the germs from your hands. Most things that you touch are with the palms and sides of your hands and fingers.

So you can save the delicate and thinner skin on the backs of your hands and stay protected against germs like those that cause swine flu.

That being said, please wash those important germ-transmitting palms and fingers thoroughly with soap and hot water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds to kill the germs.

Noted also in the dermatologist visit was that using a bit of lotion on your hands after every washing is best. She also recommended buying hand soaps that are for sensitive skin, that say they contain moisturizers, and that have no scent or dies in them.

I’m going hunting for such a hand soap and lotion today. I’m thinking about trying the Health Concern in Towson first, then I may check Trader Joe’s and Target’s organic/natural body products section may carry something good and inexpensive.

I’d appreciate any suggestions, too.

Happy hive fives and hand shakes!

Recycling can be tedious. But what if it means a new wardrobe? Or dining room set?


I’m not just talking about paper, aluminum or glass (although you better be recycling those, too). I’m talking about your clothes, shoes, furniture, jewelry, etc.

There are countless things that exist and aren’t being used. Instead of sending them to the dump, trying to pawn them off on friends or hoarding them away, you can gather them and give or sell them to Goodwill or a consignment shop.

Plato's Closet in Towson accepts brand name items for teens and young adults and sells them at a great price.

Plato's Closet in Towson accepts brand name items for teens and young adults and sells them at a great price.

Now you may not have considered this “recycling,” but it absolutely is. Think about it. Instead of buying a new pair of jeans that require new cloth, metals, string, electricity, gas (shipping), and human energy, you can go to a nice consignment boutique (or a thrift store) and purchase a gently used pair that already exist.

I love going to Plato’s Closet, Vogue Revisited, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores for great deals. I’m always getting compliments on earrings, shirts, belts and purses that I buy from these places.

I recently purchased two bookshelves and a complete dining room set for just under $100 from the Salvation Army and they’re amazing, hardy pieces.

That’s why this is the best type of recycling. Because after you’re done cleaning out your house and offering your gently used goodies up to local stores for others to find, you can go shop for some fresh items that won’t empty your wallet.

Before you turn your nose up, I completely understand how tedious it is to search through 500 shirts before you find ONE that isn’t an XXL from the ’80s, but you’d be surprised at how well Goodwill and the Salvation Army sort things these days. And if you’re really picky or short on time, some of these venues (like Vogue Revisited or Plato’s Closet) only accept boutique or brand-name items and then sell them at a price that will fit any penny-pinchers pocket.

This is one reason you can’t complain about recycling.

Are there any other amazing stores in the Baltimore/Towson area that you’ve discovered?

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