Stereotypes: Definition, Discussion and Functionality in Creating Racial Ideas
This paper will present how racial stereotypes can be used to ridicule a people and to lead public opinion into thinking of this people as unable to live “unruly.” According to Ethnic Notions, in the 20th century, some of the most well-known stereotypes about African-American people were the figures of the mammy, the pickaninny, the sambo, the coon (zip coon), the uncle Tom and the brute (or buck ).
The mammy consisted on a very docile, loyal, and domestic black female slave devoted to her masters and mistresses. Fat, dark-skinned, and cantankerous, she was deprived of sexual appeal. As a counterpart for the mammy, there was the Jezebel: a very sexualized black woman who was driven by her libido. Both images served to show black women as being the opposite of a white lady (fragile, pious) – which, in the case of the mammy, was a manner of avoiding the feeling of threat by the mistress.