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Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus by Marilyn Kern-Foxworth Essay

Assignment id 1011812
Discipline Arts Entertainment
Assignment type Essay
Words 2736
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Before the Civil War, blacks suffered oppression: slaves into the white man and unable to flourish as individuals. But as Marilyn Kern-Foxworth, author of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, explains, "After the Civil War blacks existed free to start their particular communities and become members of the buying public" (29). Together with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery, and together with the 14th Amendment, which established equal protection under the law for African Americans, the black community gradually saw improvements, including economic prosperity. But even then, they faced discrimination and humiliation. As an example, many "advertisers generated campaigns [using] blacks in their advertisements but in demeaning positions that pertain to the white majority" not African Americans (29). The early 1960s marked a crucial time for advancement; the Civil Rights Movement with its boycotts and marches demanded equality. African American leaders called Jim Crow Laws to query and insisted on the integration of colleges, companies, and public transportation. As Brian L. Goff, Robert E. McCormick and Robert D. Tollinson explain in their own piece, "Racial Integration as an Innovation: Empirical Evidence from Sports Leagues," "the civil rights laws and court rulings in the 1950's and 60's are among the major changes in public policy that slowly resulted in a breakdown of Jim Crow rule in the American south" (16). This pivotal moment within American background provoked profound changes in the ways Americans interacted with each other. Thus, the sixties triggered not just political change but also cultural and social reformations. Advertisers realized they shou...

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