February 19, 1994
I am saddened that Maxine Waters, who has consistently defended the rights of women, now chooses to defend a subculture that depends on violence and hatred of women for much of its appeal ("Rap Finds a Supporter in Rep. Maxine Waters," Feb. 15). It's absurd to claim, as Waters does, that male rappers should be forgiven for their misogyny because "it's part of the culture." Negative stereotypes of African Americans, in characters such as Amos 'n' Andy, Stepin Fetchit and Aunt Jemima, were very popular in this country at one time (so were lynchings and Jim Crow laws)
December 11, 1990 |
There are a lot of people who, regrettably, don't give a damn about the black experience or the problems of racial strife in America, but few with any dim degree of consciousness can pretend not to know about it. In that light, "A Laugh, a Tear," subtitled "A star-studded tribute to Black America," is almost indescribably disappointing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 1990
Six black teachers from Hawthorne High School have demanded that the president of the Centinela Valley Secondary Teachers Assn. resign from her post, saying she made a racially inflammatory remark last September against the district's black superintendent.
August 24, 2008
In MY humble opinion, "Tropic Thunder" is nothing more than a "Dumb and Dumber" exploitation film ["Race, on Its Face, Is Still a Moving Target," Aug. 17]. As an American of African descent, I was not offended by Mr. Downey's portrayal of a black GI, because the character was not a Stepin Fetchit or buffoon-like caricature. There lies the difference between the blackface character and Simple Jack. I am a retired special educator, and I was offended for all the children we special educators have tried to fully include in classrooms so they can learn to be productive members of society and be free from ridicule.
July 11, 1999
I was very concerned to read in the July 4 Sunday comics that "The Boondocks" will be replaced by a strip from the "Star Wars: Episode I" movie. First, I like "The Boondocks." As a white person, I think I need to be challenged and have my consciousness raised. Besides, the cartoons are funny. Second, the Jar Jar Binks character from "Star Wars" is offensive. He's a sort of Stepin Fetchit character with racist undertones. Replacing "The Boondocks" with this "Star Wars" strip is amazingly insensitive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 1989 |
In the last 10 to 15 years, the ethnic makeup of the Centinela Valley Union High School District has changed dramatically. For example, in 1976 the district had about 7,000 students and was 65% white, 21% Latino, 7% Asian, 6% black and 1% American Indian or Alaskan. Today, the district is 52% Latino, 19% white, 17% black, 8% Asian and 4% American Indian or Alaskan. Eighty-one percent of the teaching staff and 64% of the administrative staff is white.
February 6, 1985 |
Rare films produced strictly for black audiences from the 1920s through the 1940s and recently saved from the trash bin drew such a crowd at Southern Methodist University that officials Monday announced a second showing. An estimated 500 people each paid $5 Sunday to see such classics as "Murder in Harlem," starring comedian Stepin Fetchit, and "Girl in Room 20." About 150 others were turned away because of lack of space. The second showing, scheduled Feb.
July 23, 1990
It never fails to amaze me how righteously self-serving moviemakers and TV producers can get when they are criticized for making films that either pander to our basest morality or that perpetuate cultural stereotypes. Irvin Kershner and Henry G. Saperstein in the July 16 Counterpunch are the two latest examples. I'm glad to know that Kershner had only the noblest intentions in mind when he signed to direct "RoboCop 2." In fact, I greatly enjoyed his social analysis of his own movie.
February 9, 1993 |
"Mo' Funny: Black Comedy in America," which airs at 9:30 tonight on HBO, strikes a nice balance between featuring a historic all-star lineup of African-American comedians, letting them show us what made them great, and reporting on the conditions that hemmed them in.