Perception Of Africain Americans Essay

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There has been much debate over the perception of African Americans in TV, and how it affects their self-identity. It is easy to find examples of bias in portraying African Americans, but not a lot of causal research to prove that it causes problems with self-identity. A case can even be made that the amount of media presence by African Americans, whether biased or un-biased, has greatly helped to unify and give voice to a small minority group. According to the United States Census Bureau (2001), 12.3% of all people reporting as one race reported they were “Black or African American”. This ethnic identity is now the second biggest minority in the United States. It also refers to a group of people who have been in this country for as long as it has existed. However, through the persecution of slavery, the rigors of segregation, and the continuing latent prejudice; African Americans are still searching for their true identity. Just as children that were adopted tend to long for a true identity most of their lives, so is the plight of the African American. Stolen from their homeland and forced into enslavement in a new country, African Americans were victims of identity theft. Although much progress has been made in the way of an American identity for African Americans, a true identity has not yet been found. According to W.E.B Dubois (1903) “The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self” (p. 68). Many African Americans feel the same as Kali Tal (1996) when she says, “After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world – a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself

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