The Stereotype Guru’s Favorite Website

March 19th, 2012 | Categories: Race

This Media Monday I want to introduce you to my all time favorite website (which is no longer active). Black People Love Us demonstrates a way to communicate stereotypes, much like comedians can do, to advocate for stereotyped groups.

Other forms of media have tried this parody technique without the same effect. For example, books like Why Do Black People Love Fried Chicken? And Other Questions You’ve Wondered But Didn’t Dare Ask and Stuff White People Like communicate stereotypes but do so in a way that can be mistakenly viewed as telling “the truth” about racial groups. The only time I showed these books in a class, it was difficult to tell on what level students were grasping the content. Some understood these as parody. For others, I doubted this was the case.

I recall an interview with Dave Chappelle in which he said of his show that he stopped creating episodes in part because he couldn’t tell if people were laughing with the jokes or at the jokes. In other words, he was concerned people were laughing for the “wrong reasons.” When stereotype messages are communicated in the media intentionally that’s a risk. Luckily for the Stereotype Guru Black People Love Us took the risk.

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