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New guise for an old stereotype

September 01, 2007

IN an otherwise excellent article ["Buddy System," Aug. 29], Greg Braxton missed the opportunity to tell the real lineage of the black female sage to the white protagonist: the Mammy.

This contemporary rendering of the ugly stereotype of the sexless and sage black female advisor, which used to be overweight and of darker hue, now is trimmed down and coiffed but still retains the essential elements of the stereotype: sassy, wise to the ways of men and exclusively devoted to her white sista-girl's well-being. She is still the quintessential other.

Geoffrey L. Garfield



DESPITE the Oscar won by Halle Berry, not much has changed. The industry would like everyone to see its films and watch its television shows, but not to include everyone on-screen. While I am always pleased to see fellow ladies of color in roles, it is disappointing that they are not given leading roles.

I am pleased to say that there is hope. As a longtime science-fiction lover and American fan of the British series "Doctor Who," I was elated to see that the show presented the lovely and talented Freema Ageyman as the Doctor's new companion for Series 3. It is a thrill to watch her saving the universe alongside the dashing David Tennant.

Ursula Johnson


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