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Remember those Chuck E. Cheese days, before technology took over the younger generation? Do you remember how the Chuck E. Cheese mascot would come out and prance around for all of the children’s entertainment? Well, the same thing is being done to black women by individuals that are not black women.

Throughout the course of time, black women have been stigmatized and stereotyped as ‘ghetto’ —as a whole—for their hairstyles, black features, and fierce personalities; however, people that are not black women are reclaiming these stigmas and stereotypes as their own — utilizing them for entertainment purposes, just like those silly Chuck E. Cheese mascots.

one What does Shanaynay from the Martin Lawrence show and Shanaynay, played by Youtuber, Shane Dawson, have in common? They are both cisgender men, and neither of them has had to endure the struggles of being a black woman. Evidently, both Shanaynay’s are an embodiment of how men, black or white, view black women — angry, feisty, and excessively ‘ratchet’, which ultimately is the stereotype of black women. Observe the image below of Lawrence and Dawson as Shanaynay.

Martin Lawrence and Shane Dawson are not the only men that are guilty of reinforcing negative stereotypes of black women. Let’s take a good look at Tyler Perry as Madea. As a young black writer, I can appreciate Tyler Perry’s imageplaywriting process. However, I can’t help but shake my head at some of Madea’s antics. As a black person, we are already stereotyped as unintelligent individuals that resort to violence to get our points across. Why is it that Madea is usually the wiser in every Perry film, and she speaks in broken English, uses excessive violence, and creates a comedy that desensitizes the struggles of the struggling black woman in his plays? Don’t get me wrong—I do love myself some Madea!

twoEmmanuel Hudson… I know, you’re all thinking “Who the hell is that?” But he’s that guy that did the thing, on the thing and somehow went viral. Hudson and some other guy made a video back in 2012, entitled “She Ratchet” accumulating over 12.9 million Youtube views, which ultimately paved the way for his success — landing him a spot on Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out. In the video, he implies that women that receive public assistance are, indeed, ‘ratchet’. I know it was meant to be all jokes, but his disdain towards black woman is made very apparent in his tweets. He refuses to refer to black women as women, but “females” which is offensive to a lot of black feminists. If you don’t care about black girl feelings, why are you so hell-bent on impersonating them? (Check out the images below!)three

As a black male, I know that I am not allowed to speak over or for black women. I recognize my cisgender privilege, and I want to use that said privilege to lift the voices of my sisters. Nevertheless, we are all guilty of sharing a ki or two about these cisgender men prancing around, impersonating black women, but not using their privilege to lift the voices of black women. As a white person, you definitely do not have the right to call yourself a Shanaynay, wear bad weave, and embody negative stereotypes towards black woman — that deserves a punch right in your white privilege.

 

What do you think?

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Danielle

    May 23, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Arkee, you hit the nail on the head. Thank yoU!

  2. Kierra

    May 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    This whole post gave me the spirit! Yeeess Arkee

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In The Middle: Of A ‘Black Parade’

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12 Year-Old Keedron Bryant Signed to Warner Records

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“OOHHH THANK YA” is all Keedron Bryant had to say on social media when news finally came out that he had signed a record deal with Warner Records.

Amidst all the difficult news we’ve been facing these past few weeks, we wanted to give you something to smile about. You might remember Keedron Bryant, the 12-year-old boy who went viral after posting a video of himself singing “I Just Wanna Live,” a song written by his mother that tells of being Black in America and just wanting to live.

Keedron’s performance was noticed by everyone from former president Barack Obama, who referred to him and posted the performance in a statement on the murder of George Floyd, to comedian Ellen Degeneres, who closed her show with his full video. 

Just when we thought this story couldn’t give us any more feels, it was announced that Keedron was officially signed to Warner Records and his viral hit would be released on all platforms Friday, June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth, a day marking the end of slavery in America. 

Congratulations are definitely in order for Keedron Bryant.

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Netflix CEO Donates $120 Million to HBCU’s

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Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, along with his wife, Patty Quillin, are donating $120 million dollars in total to Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the United Negro College Fund. The $120 million will go towards scholarships for the students. Each college will get $40 million.

According to the United Negro College Fund, this is the largest single donation by individuals.

In a statement Hastings and Quillin said, “We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future.”

This isn’t Hastings’ and Quillin’s first time donating to HBCU’s and minority education. In 1997, the two began supporting the KIPP charter school network which helps black and latino students. In 2016, Hastings created a $100 million dollar education fund for black and latino scholarships.

“HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions — helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country,” says Hastings and Quillin.

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