this video was produced by Universal Studios.
think about that shit,
The Museum of Uncut Funk has a great article about Racism in Animation.
1941 Walter Lantz cartoon “Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat,” in which particularly racist stereotypes sleep the day away in Lazytown until a Lena Horne (?) look-alike sashays off a riverboat and motivates the lethargic populace to dance and shimmy. The message is that only music can energize black people.
And please do not reblog this talking about “well.. it was 1941.”I’m gonna have to send you a preemptive shut the fuck up ‘cause at least one of you is always out there.
Yes, babies will touch a stove cause they haven’t learned it’s hot.. but your ancestors weren’t babies… with some infantile knowledge of racism. They were simply racist with all the same faculties you have today. It was 1941… post founding of NAACP, post-Garvey movement, post-Harlem Renaissance, and Black people were fighting in WWII for freedoms for others that they couldn’t even enjoy at home.
Animators used racist imagery because it already had a foundation, making it easier to get their “visual comedy” across to their audience. The best thing to do is to consider how this technique plays out in entertainment today… especially when you have people saying they can’t see this or that character as Black.
Let’s also take note of the racial stereotypes portrayed through the blatant colorism shown in this vile video.
The dark skinned black Americans are over exaggerated to look like monkeys, they come from “lazy town” (lazy being a stereotype that is used against black people to this day), they are over weight or sickly looking, and the women are given male voices.
Now let’s examine the woman who comes off the boat. We first notice her light/fair skin and she is also given the ideal body type and is groomed, she’s is very knowledgable/smart and active in addition to her voice being pleasantly high pitched.
Colorism is a major problem within the black diasporic community and it’s roots can be traced down to colonizers using skin tone to initiate genocide and war ( Hutu & Tutsi); white slave owners deciding which slaves would whip and oversee the other slaves; and white people in general using complexion as a way to distinguish who was “white enough” to be shown publicly on television, magazines, who gets more rights, etc. It perpetuates the false notion that every being with a lighter is an intellectuals, attractive, and a societal default; while also insinuating that an individual with dark skin is ignorant/unintelligent, unattractive, and lacks the ability to express societal norms.