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Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Visualizing Otherness III - Set 1

Visualizing Otherness in America: Racist and Discriminatory Views of Afro-Americans in Popular Culture.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Note: Many of the images shown here are offensive to Afro-Americans. However, they are shown because they represent means within popular culture by which the sense of inferiority was imposed on Afro-Americans during America's period of segregation (illegal after 1954), and even beyond. These images from postcards, games, books and toys may be compared with images of other minorities featured on this web site. Hopefully, images may be viewed in this context can create a discussion of the effects of such visual images on the culture at large. An interesting question is how in some cases, perceptions of inferiority may lead only to limitation of rights for the minority group, while in some cases it can lead to genocide. Note the term "negroes" is one used essentially by whites to speak about blacks. As we are able to judge, "Afro-Americans" is the description most Americans of African ancestry prefer, especially if they are descendants of slaves.

College View Court-Hotel

College View Court-Hotel, 1123-27 Elm Ave., Waco, Tex.  Waco's Finest for Negroes. Located in most exclusive district  35 modern rooms, tile baths, - air conditioned. Prof. J.W. Yancey, II, owner. This chrome postcard was most likely published some time in the 1950s. The existence of such postcards suggests how deep rooted and "normal" segregation was considered in the USA before 1954.

waco court postcard
waco court postcard

Postcards from early 1900s

carrying freight postcard

Negroes Scrambling for Money.

scrambling for money postcard

Negroes Carrying Freight.

Announcement of Sale of Slaves

sale announcement

Announcement of Sale of Slaves, 1833.

sale announcement 2

Announcement of Sale of Slaves, 1833.

"Down in Sunny Dixie" post cards

"Down in Sunny Dixie" post cards from 1920s. Such postcards, sold across the American South, created a specific vision of Afro-Americans that crept into other aspects of popular culture, including literature, radio shows, Hollywood films  and ultimatly television. These images may be compared to how Europeans and even Americans looked at Jews through the same prism of postcards and items from popular culture.

down in dixie postcard down in dixie postcard down in dixie postcard
down in dixie postcard down in dixie postcard down in dixie postcard
down in dixie postcard down in dixie postcard down in dixie postcard

Negroes in Tennessee

tennessee dixie postcard tennessee dixie postcard tennessee dixie postcard
tennessee dixie postcard tennessee dixie postcard
down in dixie postcard
tennessee dixie postcard tennessee dixie postcard tennessee dixie postcard
miss black sambo

Piccaninny Baby - another offensive expression for Afro-Americans by whites. Here is a black Americana postcard with little Miss Black Sambo on it.

southern blackout

1930s Postcard.

baby sambo

Baby Black Sambo Post card: 1920s.