The documentary film Ethnic Notions was a film that was used to show stereotypes against African Americans in the 1820s. The documentary featured caricatures that made people of the African descent seem unequal to the rest of humanity. This mentality sunk in the mentality of Americans and it almost became a normal routine to mistreat African Americans. The caricatures displayed Africans in various forms of submissiveness. They were portrayed to be loyal employees, careless in the way they conducted their lives, smiling idiots, brutal savages who did not have a shred of decency, and could not rise from their stature. In the film, there is the stereotype of Uncle Tom, an African American servant who is satisfied working for the white people and is dependable, hardworking, and cannot pose a threat to his employers. This only made the idea that African Americans were not equal to the white folks sink further into the mentality of Americans. There is also the stereotype of a nanny who was stupid enough to take good care of her employer’s kids while treating her own kids badly. The film tracks the origin of every stereotype in an attempt to justify the oppression that the whites subjected the blacks to from the 1820s to date.
In the book Playing in the Darkness, the author discusses the conflict that took place in America after its colonization. It is symbolized that Europeans did not appreciate the presence of African Americans in the New World as they saw them as an inferior race. The book contains anecdotes from the author Edgar Allan Poe, who in his book “the narrative of Author Gordon Pym” says that a black man in their cruise ship died of shock after encountering a white giant. Only after the death of the black loyal servant does the image of the white man appear. The author is trying to show the degree in which African Americans cannot coexist in the New World. It is also indicated that the servant could not enter some form of impenetrable darkness. This is symbolic of the supreme nature of the Whiteman, which the people of the African descent could only dream of.
The book shows the intensity with which the Americans fought to move from the old world to the new one. The author explains that the struggle from that world to the new one is symbolic for the get away from an oppressive world where there were limitations in both freedom and opportunities. The European- American conflict emerged from the fact that immigrants inhabited the new world instead of the old world, which to them offered poverty, suffering, and death. They saw that Africans fitted the old world because they considered them ungodly.
In the book by author David Bernardi, he tries to get a white identity in his book the Voice of Whiteness. In the book, the author attempts to define the hierarchies that have favored the people of European American descent over those considered not to be European Americans. He bases his facts on a variety of issues, which include skin color, way of living, and mannerisms. A lot of the authors work shows the stance of the blacks politically and socially. Most of his works show the justification of the superior standing of the whites over the blacks therefore securing and stabilizing a white identity in his book.
Ethnic notions. S.l.: Signifying Works, 2004. Print.
Morrison, Toni. Playing in the dark: whiteness and the literary imagination. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992. Print.