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Ethnic Notions

Marlon Riggs; Riggs, Marlon; Kanopy (Firm)
Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
Ethnic notions is Marlon Riggs' Emmy-winning documentary that takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the first time the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled anti-black prejudice. Through these images we can begin to understand the evolution of racial consciousness in America. Loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, grinning Coons, savage Brutes, and wide-eyed Pickaninnies roll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, folklore, household artifacts, even children's rhymes. These dehumanizing caricatures permeated popular culture from the 1820s to the Civil Rights period and implanted themselves deep in the American psyche. Narration by Esther Rolle and commentary by respected scholars shed light on the origins and devastating consequences of this 150 yearlong parade of bigotry. Ethnic Notions situates each stereotype historically in white society's shifting needs to justify racist oppression from slavery to the present day. The insidious images exacted a devastating toll on black Americans and continue to undermine race relations. Ethnic notions has quickly become a mainstay of university, high school, and public library collections. It is a basic audio visual text for American History, Sociology, Black Studies, Anthropology, Social Psychology, Media Studies, and any training program concerned with stereotyping and cross-cultural understanding. Approaching a complex and delicate subject with great sensitivity, Ethnic notions equips viewers to view media and other cultural representations with a more critical eye. It's a direct challenge to those who say, "It was just a joke."
Director
Marlon Riggs
Release Date
1987
Language
English
Notes
Title from title frames.
Published
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2014.
Recording Info
Originally produced by California Newsreel in 1987.
Publisher no.
1116236 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 56 min.) : digital, .flv file, sound
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details
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    a| Ethnic notions is Marlon Riggs' Emmy-winning documentary that takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the first time the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled anti-black prejudice. Through these images we can begin to understand the evolution of racial consciousness in America. Loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, grinning Coons, savage Brutes, and wide-eyed Pickaninnies roll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, folklore, household artifacts, even children's rhymes. These dehumanizing caricatures permeated popular culture from the 1820s to the Civil Rights period and implanted themselves deep in the American psyche. Narration by Esther Rolle and commentary by respected scholars shed light on the origins and devastating consequences of this 150 yearlong parade of bigotry. Ethnic Notions situates each stereotype historically in white society's shifting needs to justify racist oppression from slavery to the present day. The insidious images exacted a devastating toll on black Americans and continue to undermine race relations. Ethnic notions has quickly become a mainstay of university, high school, and public library collections. It is a basic audio visual text for American History, Sociology, Black Studies, Anthropology, Social Psychology, Media Studies, and any training program concerned with stereotyping and cross-cultural understanding. Approaching a complex and delicate subject with great sensitivity, Ethnic notions equips viewers to view media and other cultural representations with a more critical eye. It's a direct challenge to those who say, "It was just a joke."
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