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African-American Women in Television and Film

Bull Durham ad (poster) (group D)

Bull Durham ad, 1800's (poster)

Our group decided to use advertisements from television in two different time periods to show the difference in how African American women were portrayed. This one is from Bull Durham smoking tobacco in the late 1800s. In this ad, there are a lot of stereotypical depictions that make this ad very disrespectful and racist. Our topic focuses more on African American Women so that is what our primary focus will be.  Firstly, the African American woman is portrayed as being uncivilized. The woman is sitting under an umbrella that is torn apart and in bad condition. This depiction undermines her financial status as well as depicting her as being inhuman. Another stereotypical depiction are the lips on the face of the women. Her lips are shown as being abnormally large. Both of these depictions were misconceptions of African Americans during this time period and the Bull Durham company used them in order to sell their product. Also, this depiction of African American women may have reflected the society's view of African Americans. So basically, it was considered okay to depict an African American women like this and be seen as being “right” in a sense. This shows how the conception of African American women had changed from the 1800s through 1965.