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Are interracial relationships over represented in film?


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This is something that has been in the back of my mind for quite sometime, The issue jumped out at me while I was updating this page which includes the most recently reviewed movies I posted on the website. Below are the movie posters of three four of the last five film reviews I added to the website:

the-loving-story.jpg cloud-atlas-movie-poster.jpg the-words-moive-poster.jpg flight-moive-poster.jpg

It seems to me that there are far more interracial couples in film than there are Black couples. Further the interracial couples most often depicts a Black woman with a white man. Finally when a Brother is in a relationship with a sister, in film, the Brother is usually very dysfunctional.

I have not attempted to collect data on this but I'd be willing to bet that there are more Black women / white men relationships in film than there are Black female / Black male relationships. At least a much higher percentage than what actually occurs in the real world.

As a Black man who grew up in a racially segregated community, perhaps I'm much more sensitive about this than women and white people would be.

I believe this sensitivity is one of the reasons I simply can't tolerate watching the hit TV show Scandal. The character Olivia Pope, who is otherwise superwoman is complete mush when it comes to the President who is played by a white male (incidentally, would it have been too much to have a Black man play the president's character?).


No I know TV shows and movies need to make money and white America (maybe Black America too) is not particularly interested in seeing portrayals of strong Black men. So we are related to being gang bangers, jailbirds, wearing dresses but certainly not in a positive relationships with Black woman free of serious dysfunction.

Maybe this is one of the reasons Frederick Douglas was left completely out of the film Lincoln. Maybe it is the reason a major motion picture has never been made of Douglas' extraordinary life.

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Excellent observations!

It appears that Hollywood is producing Black women/White men relationships on television and in the movies far out of proportion with reality, and I don't think this is an accident.

For a long time in America, conquering the Black woman mentally and gaining her "love" (as opposed to the outright rape and sexual exploitation of Black women that had been going on for centuries) has been considered the last frontier for White men.

They got the White woman, the Asian woman (infact, the most common interracial relationships I see in America today are White men with Asian women, lol) and even the Latina woman to a certain extent....but the Black woman has been quite elusive.

Perhaps this is an attempt to show her what she's been missing out on, lol.

I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed that "news" organizations like

like CNN and ABC have actually done entire shows asking Black women why they have remained so loyal to Black men and why don't they explore their options.

I haven't seen shows like this targeted to any other racial group of women.

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This is a subject that has come full circle, Troy, a situation where "art imitates life". For so long when it came to interracial pairing, it was black men with status pursuing white woman whereas black women were relegated to the ranks of sex objects coveted by lascivious white men, looking for a hot time.

In the real world, Black men and white women are no longer a big thing, but a white man with a black woman can still raise eyebrows.

In the past, breaking tradition, a few movies allowed super negro characters to successfully woo white leading ladies and, lately, black actresses are getting their chance to play romantic leads against white actors but, agreed, the scenarios are questionable.

Apparently, a couple of any race in a happy, normal relationship is too boring to make a movie about; no conflict. But, that's show biz!

Frederick Douglass did, indeed, lead an extraordinary life. He was a trail blazer. Particualrly when it came to how black men treat their women. He brought a white wife to live in the home he shared with his first wife, a black woman he'd left for this white one. tsk-tsk.

We need, people like you, Troy, to remind us of how things should be. Me, I'm jaded. <_<

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Then again Douglas 2nd wife was white (if memory serves), plus he was mulatto. One would think that that would be great fodder for the film industry.

But I guess even a Mulatto, married to a white woman is still too positive a Black man to put on the big screen.

In the film Red Tales they had to thrown in an interracial relationship ignoring all the Black women who stayed behind working to keep their families intact.

Nollywood seems to be offering some good alternatives. Interesting stories with Black people just being... in relationships with each other, and doing thing people do...


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JennyWHOA welcome to the boards! Any sister that is familiar with Dr Amos is cool with me!

It was interesting how we both prefaced our remarks with a disclaimer; Me. "As a Black man who grew up in a racially segregated community," and You, "As a Black woman with Post Traumatic Slave Disorder..."

In retrospect, both comments were unnecessary. We are clearly dealing with centuries of institutional racism. It is crazy that in 2012 we are talking about Hollywood unwilling to make moves with Black couples.

One could also argue why is it even an issue; (1) We are all God's children right we can be in relationships with anyone regardless of skin color, and (2) If Black people what to see Black on Black love they could just make their own movies. In the end if will have to be both (1) and (2).

In much the same way I believe we are all equal, I also know we also need to have Black book websites too -- even in 2012.

Nice Blog BTW.

Also that Miss South Africa is FOINE!!! :wub:

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Meanwhile, Beyonce just signed a 50 millon dollar deal with Pepsi to be their Ambassador. They will even be releasing a limited issue of commenmorative Pepsis with her image on the bottles. Not one to be star struck by fame and fortune, everybody's favorite "Yenta" Wendy Williams, was quick to acknowledge what a great coup this was considering that "Bey has the vocabulary of a 5th grader".

Elsewhere one of Serena Williams' white tennis colleagues mocked Serena's bootylicious body by appearing in a tennis match in Brazil with a humongous fake butt and gigantic false boobs. The fans in the stands loved it. Twitter was alive with howls of racism.

Too bad Halle Berry has given up on being black. She has 2 crazy white men fighting over her - and her fortune.

For those pining to see a loving black couple, there are still re-runs of the Cosby show, which was criticized for being unrealistic when it was first aired. Or - we could look to the white house for role models. I guess...

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I can remember when Cosby show first started, most people in my world thought the show was unrealistic: A Black doctor and Black attorney married, in a house in NYC, with happy kids who want for nothing -- yeah right!

A decade later I was living a similar life style, and knew others like me. I took offense to anyone who thought the show was unrealistic while all the time understanding, quite well, why they felt that way. In many ways what Bill Cosby was doing was FAR more important than we realized at the time -- A positive Black show that was also commercially successful!

If I grew up watching program with successful Black families -- instead of only white ones. Perhaps my world view would have been completely different. My kids do not have the burden of stunted aspirations or a lack of positive role models.

Still too many kids today have no idea what they can aspire to -- you can't aspire to what you don't know. And the media is certainly not going to show you.

In 2012, in NYC only 22% of Black boys graduate from High School in 4 years!!! 22%!!! I suspect those that did graduate in 4 years a majority got shitty educations -- ill prepared for college or the work force.

Barack in the white house is no more aspiring to a Black boy today than it was when people used to tell us "You can be president one day". Maybe that would inspire a kids who had a white mother and grew up outside the continental US. A 22% graduation rate by kids who entered high school with a Black president should you tell you that.

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I've noticed a slow but steady deterioration of movies showing real genuine Black love.

Back in the late 60s and 70s you would see realist looking and usually dark skinned Black men and women in the movies and on television making love to eachother, kissing, and showing signs of affection.

Around the time of the 80s the Black actors and actresses started getting lighter and lighter.

In the 90s you rarely saw 2 dark skinned Black people loving eachother in major movies. You either saw 2 White people or a White person with a very light usually mixed Black person. You didn't see ANY dark skinned Black women as objects of love and desire, and other than Wesley Snipes or Denzel Washington you rarely saw Black men in those positions either.

If you are old enough to notice, there is less Black love and lower self esteem among the Black youth of today than 40 years ago. I believe it's because they haven't seen many images of themselves as beautiful and desirable in the media today as in the past.


I hear you on the unfounded criticism of the Cosby Show.

I grew up in Detroit where there were plenty of middle-class and even a few wealthy Black neigbhorhoods. I didn't see anything unusual about the show.

I used to hear and read about how "unrealistic" it was and couldn't figure out what people were talking about as I saw plenty of wealthy Black families who went to the opera, museums, traveled, ect.....

It wasn't until I got older and started traveling around the nation that I realized that in most places Black people didn't live as good as they did in placed like Detroit, Chicago, and Atlanta where there are large concentrations of Black wealth.

I went to the West Coast and parts of the midwest and would see droves of Black people on the street begging while White people in suits with briefcases would walk by them smiling and tossing change. I'd point this out to other Black people and they'd smile and shrug like there was nothing unusual about it.

But that was 20 years ago.

Sadly, even in cities like Chicago and Atlanta that were traditional strongholds for the Black middleclass....the many of the youth are losing much of what their grandparents fought for and earned.

If I were a betting man, I'd be willing to bet of the 22% of Black boys who graduated from highschool on time the majority of THEM were probably from African and Carribean families.

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"22% of Black boys who graduated from high school on time the majority of THEM were probably from African and Carribean families." True that!

You were fortunate to have been reared in a middle class Black neighborhood. If you are poor and Black New York City should be the last place you wanna live.

Growing up I really thought all Black people lived in the ghetto. My favorite movies like Claudine reinforced the image. Even when I went to college I was still oblivious to the fact. When I encountered Middle class or wealthy Black people we called them "Oreos", they talked white -- they weren't "really down", But I learned as as I traveled and raised my own kids.

So if Black boys in NYC, for example, never see a dark women in loving scenes with Black men,what do we think the results will be... We already know. If you are poor and Black New York City should be the last place you wanna live.

Interestingly, the negative impressions work both ways. Well to do Black people don't have very much respect for poor Black people. Indeed I would even argue this is an underlying reason for the disdain some, in the literary world, have for Urban Fiction authors -- it is simple elitism. It would be called racism if the elitists were white.

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All very interesting. A lot of the observations reinforce my claim that the black experience is different things to different people and the delineations are blurred.

I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago that has been integrated from its founding back in the early 1800s. There was no overt blatant racism there, and Black and Whites co-existed. And when the civil rights movement started to heat up, black and white residents of good will worked together to try and solve problems that arose. In both the black and white communities there were all different classes of people. I was raised with middle-class "values" but I wouldn't consider the financial circumstances of my parents as above average. Yes, they "owned" the house we lived in, and we did always have a car, but they both were common laborers. The only reason I was able to go to college was because way back then, tuition at the state university was very low; under $100 a semester. Room and board at the dormitories only cost about $350 a semester. Even at those prices it was a struggle. I hear a lot of black people saying that, as youngsters, they were poor and didn't know it. This is because the quality of our lives wasn't lacking.

I had a little problem with the Cosby show because I thought it tried too hard to make its point, and that the message it was sending was that if black people emulate white people and are perfect in every aspect, then this makes them acceptable to the American public. Also, I don't think young black kids are sophisticated enough to comprehend the implications of Obama's back story or the fact the he is bi-racial". All they know is that a black man who looks like their kind is president, and this is inspiring to them.

As for how Blacks are portrayed, this may seem like a silly question, but why would the white media have a problem with showing black couples in loving relationships? Why would white Americans, in general, reject scenarios that show black couples mating with their own kind? Isn't this how they want it? Are Blacks overreacting with their gripes???

Furthermore, on BET and CMT there are a lot situation comedies where black couples have normal loving relationships. Has anybody every watched "Everybody Hates Chris?' Or "My Wife and Kids?" or "The Game" or "Are We There Yet?" Did anybody see the movies "Jumping the Broom" or "Why did I Get Married?"? ...Just to name a few examples. Of course, the situation is not where it should be, but it does behoove critics to acknowledge what is out there.

As far as the elitist thing, it would seem that certain things are more about class than race.

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Cynique, your youth sounds very quite nice. Seems your moniker would be Optimique with that upbringing ;)

In stark contrast to your rearing. No one "owned" where the lived, very few had a car, there where no "white" kids, (though one could argue the some of the Puerto Ricans were actually white -- but that is another conversation). The City University, which Colin Powell attended a few years earlier, was free. The neighborhood was clean -- kids couldn't even play on the grass. Crime was low and folks seemed to be pretty content -- at least from the eyes of a child.

Beginning in the late 60's the wheels fell off. My neighborhood became the ghetto. Kids I knew, personally, were being murdered, regularly -- kids just like me, wrong place at the wrong time or doing something stupid, but paying a price far too high. Thinking back on it now. I was afraid a lot... (y'all don't tell my mom).

By the time I went to college in 1980 the 'hood was a hell hole. Most of my peers did not go to college, in fact more people my age, I'm sure, were incarcerated than in college. But even then the majority of us still graduated from high school. By the later 1980's "Wilding" was a common term and demographers were on the look out for the emergence of the "Super Predator". Several young boys were send to jail on trumped up charges and are known today as the Central Park Five.

Today the hood is pretty nice. Fine new restaurants, banks, markets with fresh produce, clean parks, safe streets, and city services, Today there are plenty of white faces pushing strollers down streets that residents, a few years prior, would not venture down after dark. There is plenty of new housing long time residents can't afford. The remaining long term residents, see the writing and the wall know, deep down, their days in Harlem are numbered.

The venerable Lenox Lounge closes it's doors this month. A venue I popped in one day and saw Branford Marsalis play. The venue where scenes from Shaft (both of them) and American Gangster were filmed. I believe a sushi bar will replace it.

So yeah my perceptions of Cosby in the 1980's and Black love on film today are viewed from a very different perspective.

All of the movies and TV shows you cited were comedies -- with Why Did I get Married being a complete farce -- certainly not a film I would use as an example of positive Black on Black love.

But in any event the films are the exception not the rule. JeenyWhoa post made me sensitive to issues I'd not considered...

So I completely understand if there are Black folks (not saying you fall into the category Cynique) that are perfectly content with how Black people are portrayed in major motion pictures and network TV. They can watch Kerry Washington turn into mush over the white dude on Scandal without their stomachs turning like mine -- indeed they may be riveted by the sight. And judging by some of the commentary I've found on Facebook (which is how i discovered the program), they are.

At the end of the day, I only see things getting "worse". So I look for films from independent filmmakers like Ava Duvernay, and Nollywood. Y'all can keep the bullshit Hollywood keeps churning out. I stopped watching network broadcast TV long ago for this very reason.

That said, I'm REALLY enjoyed that last Star Trek. Zoe Saldana :wub: and Spock did not bother me in the least bit I guess Vulcan's don't count in my racism :unsure: (where is Tuvok when you need him?)


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Well exscuuuuuuuse me,Troy. I thought you and JennyWhoa were pissed because the media never showed black couples paired together in normal happy relationships. But I guess what you hopeless romantics actually want to see are lovers fawning and schmoozing, staring breathlessly into each other eyes, starring in movies of the soap opera variety. :P

Seriously, I hear "Good Deeds" a movie released earlier this year starring Tyler Perry and Gabrielle Union was a good relationship film, with a plot that sounds like your cup of sweet tea.

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Yeah I saw Good Deeds, you can read my comments after Kam's review to see what I thought about the film.

I think Good Deeds would actually be yet another example of what Black women are complaining about -- over and above my anecdotal observations. Again the love interest, Thandie Newton, is a mulatto woman. Indeed like the previously mention Saldana, I'm not even sure if Newton describes herself as Black.

So if Black women (particularly dark-skinned), feel they are unrepresented as objects of romantic love by Black men in major motion pictures -- I understand the feeling.

Speaking of soap operas where is Angie and Jessie when you need 'em.

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Tarantino is a sick puppy. His movies are twisted and extraordinarily violent. That said, Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite flicks and also enjoyed Reservoir Dogs.

Tarantino's new film, “Django Unchained” staring Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington features the two engaged in strong Black on Black love relationship, the type of relationship which goes counter to the Hollywood formula some of us have observed regarding relationships. But fans of Tarantino expect nothing formulaic :o


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Quenton is just filling a void that was left open by Black directors.

You have talented Black directors like Spike Lee and Tyler Perry who have the ability to produce docu-tainment as good as Tarantino or Spielberg but they figure that Black people won't go to see it in huge numbers so they stick to the 'hood or drag queen movies.

Keep in mind when I talk about seeing dark skinned Black people loving eachother, I'm not just talking about love in the sense of "amore" but love in the sense of "eros".

You rarely see two Black people engaged in powerful but positive sexual activity in the movies or on television anymore. Not like the days of Shaft or Black Ceasar where you saw dark skinned sistaz with kinky hair naked and being loved.

I'm not talking about some rap video where a woman dresses like a prostitute and demeans herself with a bottle of champaign and STILL doesn't show any nudity.

I'm talking artistically beautiful but still erotic sexuality.

Where are the Pam Griers or Gloria Hendrys of today?

Black women who are willing to get naked and show their brown bodies on the screen unashamed?

There was a time in the 80s and 90s where White actresses refused to do nude scenes because they thought it was demeaning. But that didn't last long, now every one of them are showing thier breasts and many are showing their pubic hair. Every one of them are putting pictures of their naked selves out on the internet to get publicity. The entire world gets to see the beauty and sensuality of the White woman....what about the Black, Yellow, or Brown woman?

And what about the Black men?

How many Black men are being called "hot" or make it to the list of 10 or 25 "hottest hunks in Hollywood" now?

I've been warning Black men for years that while they're getting fat and sloppy thinking that there'd never be a time when a sista would look past them for a "white boy".....the "white boy" is at the gymn.

Some may giggle or shake their heads at what I'm saying but there's strong psychology in seeing people who LOOK LIKE YOU engaged in positive sexual activity on television or in the movies because it re-enforces the fact that you are a human being who needs love and can be loved. That you too can be a symbol of attraction. Our people both male and female need to KNOW that their bodies are attractive and lovable, not just objects of ridicule or exploitation.

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It's a pretty complicated topic. Race, Sex, Class ( Angela Davis ) and Power.

I heard a couple quotes about the film industry that I thought was interesting. When films started they were mostly owned by the Jewish. Yet the beauty standard was and too some extent Aryan. So you have an industry promoting s beauty standard that excludes the owners. Ned Beatty or Ed Asner said the following after shooting Roots. People complain about there being no positive Black Men on TV. He said there are no (few?) positive men period.

Which leads to questions about identity. I think if you are using pop culture to define yourself there's going to be problems.

I grew in a neighborhood where most of the families were White but the kids were mostly Black, there were two Puerto Rican families one if which became my Godmother, two Italians, one Irish kid and an interacial couple.

So I kind of lived in a white world at school and a black world at home.

I kind of liked the artsy fartsy scene, New York Nightlife and Dance Clubs, Boston 81 - 86, New York 85 - 01. I had been involved with European, Afro American, Asian, African and Australian. I stopped swing colour. Although my first inter racial relationship was an internal struggle. It was Boston, which was still intense racially. I was uncomfortable and made to feel it. That I as a college Black Male was disrespecting the Black Male Female Union that created me. What I have learned is all relationships are hard.

We were middle upper middle class. Both parents worked lived in a semi attached home from 7 to 16. We saw Alvin Ailey and Dance Theatre of Harlem, went to Museums no Art Galleries and I had seen black plays and the Negro Ensemble Company.

Where would you put the following shows or movies. I Spy the CosbyCulp, Fat Albert, Zoom, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Tap, Malcolm X, She Gotta Have It, Jungle Fever (Interesting juxtaposition), Cotton Comes to Harlem, Five on the Black Hand side, Sweetback and Superfly.

The last two I find really interesting because the score was by Earth Wind and Fire and Curtis Mayfield. I remember the protest about Superfly, decades later Curtis Mayfield said it was a story about redemption.

My kids mother is white. I was explaining how Black people were treated in the US because of their color. He didn't understand it. My wife at the time said how good is that that is not part of their world. I still don't know how I feel about it.

I actually felt that Avatar was Tarzan all over again.

Where do you put Prince.

If the lives of Black Folk where easier would you have Jazz.

Very complex topic.

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Pioneer1, if you are talking about "erotic sexuality" in a major motion picture -- you can forget it. There is simply no way you can generate enough interest among the masses -- I doubt the majority of Black people would want to see that type of film. Black folks can be pretty conservative as a group.

Del you are fortunate to be able to related deeply to and actually love people of other cultures and races. Most people in the US are FAR too racist to even consider it. You were made to feel uncomfortable while in Boston because those people, like many of us, are too primitive to see beyond the color of someones skin. The entire culture suffers as a result.

People are so fixated on race they refuse to let it go, it is sad really.

I don't know if Jazz would exist if Negro were not chained up an dragged over here for hundreds of years. I suspect if that tragedy not occurred the world would have something even BETTER than Jazz!


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You guys seem to be attributing to Jazz what is really the domain of Blues. They are two different genres, you know. Jazz is about improvisation and free styling and subsets of it like Dixieland and Ragtime are up beat cheerful music as opposed to the Blues which are laments about the sorry vissitudes of life that black people have fallen heir to. A Jazz musician can, of course, play a blues selection if he so desires, but when he is being true to his craft, he is immersed in the cerebral pursuit of impromptu artistry rather than the repetitive drone of misery that typifies the Blues.

Troy, what continues to fuel my opposition to you on the subject of race is that in wanting everybody to be viewed as the same, you stifle the diversity which makes life interesting. You don't seem to appreciate the uniqueness of being a facet of the whole, as exemplified by an individual belonging to a race. In fact you seem to be fixated on robbing people of their identity, believing that uniformity is on a par with equality. Not so. Life is an ongoing struggle full of variables, and problems of race like other challenges are a part of the struggle. Justice can be elusive, but it is not non existent. Without adversity there are no victories and without victories there is no sense of accomplishment, - an idea Frederick Douglass espoused. This is where the noble intent comes in, as opposed to wishful thinking and fretting. Athough we would like to be able to influence Fate, like inspiration, it is a mystery that resides in some mystical realm just outside our line of vision.

And, yes, this is my "belief".

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Since it is a belief it is open to challenge :angry:

Quite the contrary, Cynique I think everyone being the same is boring, perhaps this is why I like large cities and traveling to different places.

My problem is the governments fixation on "race" and how it sets people off against each other, creating unnecessary special interest groups. That plus the fact my belief that the term is essentially meaningless when dealing with people.

Do realize there is more biodiversity in Black people, alone, than there is in any other "race". We could start categorizing Black people based upon these differences, but that sounds silly -- because it is.

As far as Jazz, and i can speak to what Del was thinking, but I was simply thinking of Jazz as an American creation, heavily influenced by Black folks. If we were still in African who know if a Jazz, or the Blues, or Rap would have emerged at all.

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Not to change the subject, but when you mentioned that you were trying to explain to your biracial children why Black people were mistreated because of thier color and they couldn't understand it....this is one of the reasons I differenciate "Black peple" from "AfroAmericans".

Originally, one of the reasons Black people were discriminated against was because of HOW THEY LOOKED.

The dark skin, kinky hair, and thick nose and lips of West Africans were seens as badges of dishonor and ugliness in American society for over 2 centuries.

When people look at Barak Obama and say they can't understand why so many wouldn't want a "Black" president, they aren't understanding that the typical Black man doesn't look like him (although I must say the President has pretty kinky hair for a mixed person, lol)


"If we were still in African who know if a Jazz, or the Blues, or Rap would have emerged at all."

You know what, I often think along the same lines when it comes to different things.

What if our people had stayed in Africa and had never been enslaved...how would the world be?

With regard to music, I suspect that there probably wouldn't be any Jazz like we know it today because most African socities tend to be very traditional and you know those type of societies DON'T LIKE CHANGE.

They continue the same traditions for thousands of years.

Asian and Native American culutres were the same way.

They favored tradition and the ways of the ancestors above that which is commonly called "advancement".

Often times, that which is "new" is unwelomed and persecuted.....driven out.

If I'm not mistaken though, I thought Jazz itself was founded by New York Jews with their clarinets and other wind instruments.

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When I look at old pictures, old footage, and read about the first European immigrants who came to the United States whether they were Jews, Italians, or Germans.

I look at how they dressed, what they ate, and how they behaved.....

It reminds me so much of AfroAmericans and how we used to dress, eat, and behave.

I've had more than one European from places like France and Italy tell me that in terms of style and behavior Black Americans were actually more like Europeans that White Americans.

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Southern Italians have strong African and Arab ancestry.

This is one of the reasons why there was constant rivalry between them and Northern Italians.

They can't escape this truth, they know it deep down inside no matter how much many Italians may try to deny this.

The way they dress, sing, dance, love gold, ect......tells on them.

I've met many Italians who actually embrace the fact that they have Black ancestry and see it as a bragging rite because they think it makes them tough and hard.

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They can't escape this truth, they know it deep down inside no matter how much many Italians may try to deny this.

The way they dress, sing, dance, love gold, ect......tells on them.

Pioneer1 I assume this was written in jest....right?

I used to say Italians(southern) are the Black people of Europe.

Del, what?!

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Actually, no it wasn't.

Any AfroAmerican who has lived, worked, or spent any reasonable about of time around Italian Americans can't help but to notice some of the behavioral and even physical similarities between them and us more so than other White Americans.

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Pioneer1, what your are describing are classic stereotypes and are not based upon anything more than the observations of a subset of people, which does not mean much when you try to extend it to an entire group of people..

Some of what you describe in terms of behavior, dress, etc would be better attributed to social class of just being brought up in a similar environment.

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"Pioneer1, what your are describing are classic stereotypes and are not based upon anything more than the observations of a subset of people, which does not mean much when you try to extend it to an entire group of people.."



My experiences and observations have shown my that most stereotypes are based (even if loosely) in some truth and reality regardless as to how hard it may be to accept.

I don't have to meet every woman in the world to know that women tend to be more self-concious about thier appearance than men.

The thousands that I've met are just a subset of the billions on our planet today, but wouldn't you say it's enough to base a fair judgement on?

Most people of Italian descent I've met have certain clear characteristics commonly not found in the majority of other White Americans.

"Some of what you describe in terms of behavior, dress, etc would be better attributed to social class of just being brought up in a similar environment."

I agree totaly.

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Hi Pioneer, your statement is the definition of a stereotype. Your observations only means something to you and can not, by extension, be ascribed to everyone else in the group you are stereotyping.

No you don't have to meet every woman in the world, and while you may have met 1,000's of women, you can not associate your observations to the other 3.5 Billion woman. Your sample set is just too small and your way of making the determination of relative self-consciousnesses about appearance is flawed.

That is you have not meet enough women, and you are not skilled enough to determine self-conscientiousness. Or maybe you just roll in an environment where self-conscious women are abundant -- do you see my point?

It is like the cop cruising in Harlem that assumes every Brother with a nice car is a drug dealer, because he has arrested a few. Or the teacher who assumes every Black boy she teaches is not as smart as the white boys in the neighborhood she lives in.

Of course the teacher, with 25 years experience, in a poor neighborhood, who may have taught a couple thousand kids, may be completely convinced her conservations must apply to all the other Black kids in the world -- even places she has never been. When in reality, her conservations aren't even valid in the sample of her own students - but she is too biased, racist, and prejudiced to see it.

These racial biases are magnified in a racist culture, so much so that I'd be willing to bet, in their hearts of hearts, White people believe Black boys are just dumber on average than anyone else. The manner in which we are educated just reinforces the stereotypes to reflect this bias --and the resulting outcomes create a downward spiral...

Stereotyping, while apparently natural, can lead to some disastrous decisions.

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In an AALBC.com interview with Trey Songz about his role in Texas Chainsaw 3D of course his love interest is not Black


Again I'm not forcing this issue it is just the reality of movie relationship coming out of Hollywood. The only exception recently was Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington in DJango.

I guess at the end of the day Black on Black heterosexual love is not marketable to a large audience unless there is severe dysfunction.

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"Hi Pioneer, your statement is the definition of a stereotype. Your observations only means something to you and can not, by extension, be ascribed to everyone else in the group you are stereotyping."

While I agree that those characteristics can't be ascribed to "everyone" in a group I disagree that they mean something ONLY to me.

As I've said before, most stereotypes are based in some sort of truth or reality.

I have no mental illnesses and I don't do drugs so I'm not prone to hallucinations.

I'm sure I'm not the ONLY one who has noticed the characteristics I've described about Italians. Infact, I've talked to dozens of Black people who've noticed the same thing about Italian Americans.

"No you don't have to meet every woman in the world, and while you may have met 1,000's of women, you can not associate your observations to the other 3.5 Billion woman. Your sample set is just too small and your way of making the determination of relative self-consciousnesses about appearance is flawed.

That is you have not meet enough women, and you are not skilled enough to determine self-conscientiousness. Or maybe you just roll in an environment where self-conscious women are abundant -- do you see my point?"

Yes, I see your point but don't agree with it.

You don't seem to be disagreeing with the fact well known by most people of maturity including most psychologists and other social scientists that females tend to be MORE self-conciouse about there looks.....are you?

You just seem to be interested in educating me on the dangers of stereotyping, lol.

Only a person with Aspergers Syndrome and no social skills whatsoever would refrain from making any judgments and decisions about the people they've encountered until they've met EVERYBODY on the planet who belonged to that particular group.

The rest of us must base our judgements on the sampling of those we've encountered.

We agree that we don't have to meet every woman to make any determinations about them, but what figure would you put it at....millions?

At some people, you move from the impractical to the not-humanly-possible.

"Stereotyping, while apparently natural, can lead to some disastrous decisions."

Perhaps it can if that stereotyping came about ONLY as a result of what we see on television and the movies. But if those stereotypes are confirmed by what is experienced/observed in REAL LIFE then it can be integrated into what we call "common sense" and will aid you in making proper decisions when dealing with people.

Most of the Italians that I've known from school, to work, to socializing seemed to have certain unmistakable characteristics similar to AfroAmericans.

Most Italian males I knew loved to chase women like most Black males I know.

Most Italians I knew tended to wear more gold that other White people, like most AfroAmericans.

Most Italians I knew had a fondness for rap music and/or music with a lot of bass in it like most AfroAmericans.

Many Italian American men I knew tended to cry when they were angry like many Black men I know, I know few non-Italian Whites who teared up and cried from anger.

Most Italian Americans I know tend to have dark hair and tan easily.

These are not "conincidences".....they are unmistakable patterns.

Patterns I believe are directly related to the fact that most Italian Americans are of southern-Italian descent and are known to have an abundance of Arab and African ancestry. Ancestry that apparently influences their thinking and behavior.

Now call this a stereotype all you want, but you live in (or are atleast from) New York.

Have you met ALL or ENOUGH Italian Americans to refute these claims and call them bogus?

Lol, or will you continue to focus on my "stereotyping"?

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Pioneer I don't have to met any Italians to know your reasoning is flawed. Again, just because YOU observed something does not make it true outside what you've observed. Again, if who want to extend your observations to an entire group of people go ahead. Just don't be surprised if others, like myself, are astonished by your methods for drawing conclusions.

In terms or how large a sample you need and how much data should be collected, measured and evaluated would require a courses. I would however start by looking at Italians native to various regions in Italy -- this might help eliminate of the cultural bias you may be observed in New York.. How many Italians in Italy have you observed and evaluated?

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"Pioneer I don't have to met any Italians to know your reasoning is flawed. Again, just because YOU observed something does not make it true outside what you've observed. Again, if who want to extend your observations to an entire group of people go ahead. Just don't be surprised if others, like myself, are astonished by your methods for drawing conclusions."

You seem to be focused more on my reasoning than the accuracy of my conclusions.

When you have to solve a mathematical problem and whip out a calculator, do you call up Texas Instruments or Sharp and drill them on the methods their calculators use to come up with the answers before you accept them?

Lol....or do you just "plug in" the numbers and assume the answers are correct?

Regardless as to how I've arrived at my conclusions.....are they correct from your experiences?

From your personal observations of Italian Americans, am I right or wrong in what I've stated about much of their behavior?

"In terms or how large a sample you need and how much data should be collected, measured and evaluated would require a courses. I would however start by looking at Italians native to various regions in Italy -- this might help eliminate of the cultural bias you may be observed in New York.. How many Italians in Italy have you observed and evaluated?"

The amount of research I've done in Italy is irrelevant because the focus of my original statement was about Italian AMERICANS.

I said:

"Any AfroAmerican who has lived, worked, or spent any reasonable about of time around Italian Americans can't help but to notice some of the behavioral and even physical similarities between them and us more so than other White Americans."

Now why in the world would I fly off on some wild goose chase to Italy looking to do research on a group of people who are living in my own nation, state, and locality?

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The high school I went to drew its student body from the little villages in the district that it serviced. One of these places was heaviiy populated with Italians, a great many of whom were school mates of mine. In this setting, the Italians and Blacks didn't act any more alike than the Italians and Irish or the Italians and Jews or the Italians and Poles. To us Blacks, they were all white, and none of them acted like us who had our own style and own slang and own music, and we didn't particularly bond with any ot them on a group basis. Individual friendships that I formed with my white classmates were not based on what we had in common but on an interest and curiosity about how different we were. That's what diversity is all about.

Generalizing about ethnicities is a slippery slope and does reinforce stereotypes; an opinion I feel is as legitimate as the assertions of Pioneer.

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Let us remember that when I speak of Italian Americans, I'm talking about those whose parents and grandparents are most likely Italian American, going all the way back to Italy/Sicily.

In other words, people of PREDOMINATELY Italian descent.

I'm not talking about White people who are mostly of Polish, Irish, English, or German descent who's grandfather or great great grandfather was Italian and they just caught the last name.

Often times people look at a persons last name and assume they're this or that.

Having an Italian last name doesn't make one an Italian American any more than the name Deval Patrick makes the governor of Massachusettes Irish.

You have a lot of blond haired blue eyed pale skinned people named Guliani and Tucci (Sicilian names) who look nothing like the swarthy dark haired natives of Sicily because their grandfather or great grandfather married into an Irish or German family.

In urban America whether we're talking New York, Chicago, Detroit, or Philly.....for over a century most of the White ethnic groups kept their distance from eachother and tended to marry only in their own ethnic group UNTIL Black people started moving up from the South and this tended to unite them along the basis of being "White". Then they started marrying among eachother.

When I look at some of the old photos of Detroit back in the 20s and 30s before it became a Black city, it was divided up into many ethinc neighborhoods and it's remarkable how dark haired and swarthy and "ethnic looking" the Jews and Italians who had just came to America looked.

The loud colors they wore and the spicy foods they ate that other "Whites" didn't seem to tolerate from them too well.

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Hi Pioneer of course I’m focused on your reasoning as your conclusions are a direct consequence of it.

Using your calculator analogy; if you were trying to calculate, say the volume of a sphere, but used the wrong formula, the calculator would give you the right calculation but the wrong answer.

Pioneer you are missing my point – even if I agreed with you based upon my own experiences I would never then jump to the conclusion that the observations applied to any other Italians than the ones you and I have observed. As a result, based upon what you have told me I would not assume you are right – regardless of my observations.

If you are restricting your observation to ONLY Italian Americans, then that would certainly bias your observations almost completely on culture.

OK let revisit what you wrote:

"Any AfroAmerican who has lived, worked, or spent any reasonable about of time around
Italian Americans
can't help but to notice some of the behavioral and even physical similarities between them and us more so than other White Americans."

I’m African America and have spent time with Italian people. I have not noticed the similarities you suggest (spicy food, loud clothing*). Now that my observations are in direct opposition to your what happens to your theory?

Black people, white people, Italian Americans are such a diverse community of people, within their own demographic, comparison with folks of a different demographic is virtually impossible with being very methodical. Drawing conclusion without doing is just an anecdotal observation – true for you but not, necessarily true in general.


*Black people liking spicy food and loud clothing is a stereotype.

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Well, it wasn't a theory....it was an observation.

However you answered my question, so I'm satisfied.

I'm not in a position to tell you what you've experienced or observed with your own eyes.

BTW, if you think that Black people having an affinity for loud colored clothing is just a mere stereotype, obviously you don't know who Steve Harvey is.

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Pioneer. Steve Harvey is just one Black man a celebrity at that. He does not reflect all Black men. He certainly does not reflect me or any of the Black men I know (and I know a lot of Black men).

That said I've seen Steve a number of times myself and I see no evidence that he has an affinity for "loud" clothing -- at least not in the last decade...

I guess you also think Black people all dance well, talk in move theaters, are good at basketball, are biased toward criminality, are poor students, are promiscuous, don't like to read, have low self-esteems, love Barack Obama unconditionally, are all Christians. like watermelon and friend chicken, love rap music, and don't know what marriage is, right?.

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((Pioneer takes off his glasses and rests them on the desk and sighs.....))


I said that Italian Americans tend to share more characteristics with AfroAmericans than other Whites.....and you argued this.

I say AfroAmericans tend to favor loud colored clothing and spicy foods....and you argue this.

I say females tend to be more self-concious about their body image than males....and you even argued THIS.

Now, that's enough to make even Dr Phil sit back and stretch his eyes in amazement.

Man, are you just trying to be contrary or something?

You're disagreeing with things that are commonly known to MOST Black Americans over 30.

Things that certainly no other Black person I'VE talked to disagreed with me about.

Who goes through life making absolutely no generalizations or assumptions about anything?

When you first met your wife, did you first ask her was she "straight or gay" before proceeding with any relationship?

Certainly a prudent brother like yourself who doesn't like to make presumptuous generalizations about anyone or anything wouldn't just ASSUME the woman you found attractive also found men attractive.

You most certainly had to ask her THAT question didn't you?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that once you have an idea about the world it changes your lens.

Troy I will tell you what my 63 year old born in Australia Itslian nrighbor said to me last week. "I like expensive stiff or stuff that looks nice. It's stupid but Italians are stupid for this."

I thousand people would nr enough fir a sample. The problem with the sample of the thousand people that you meet is that it is skewed.

So you may not nr able to day something about the overall population. But you could make a case fir that subset. So I think you are both right to a certain degree. Take from that what you will.

Yes what Pioneer is saying is anecdotal but ut us probably TRUE fir a subset. Lastly Italian sports cars are different from Germsn and English sports cars. How many rappers do you see in Italian versus other sports cars. From memory I recall a coupleof Ferraris s couple of Lamborghinis a few Porsches and one Aston Martin. Anecdotal yes, informal no question, open to debate sure. What did Miles Davis drive a man who wasas concerned with his looks as much as his sound drive. A red Ferrari.

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:-) I like the visual. OK Pioneer, I'll give up on trying to get you to see the problem with stereotyping people.

Del, it is interesting to reject the mathematically proven fact that a finite sample can reproduce a continuous signal. But you have much less of a problem with the flawed process of using anecdotal evidence to describe an entire population.

Of course Pioneer's observations are true for a subset -- the subset he has observed. Again, this is where we part ways; using his limited observations and extending them to entire population. I guess if Pioneer lived in Greenwich Village he'd assume the majority white men were homosexual.

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Del it is a fact as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. Would you dispute 1 + 1 = 2? If so, then what I say, or what can be looked up in a first year college math text book would not matter to you. Again if a sound wave sampled at slightly higher than twice it's highest frequency (say 40K samples per second) you be able to faithfully reproduce the original sound waves from those samples.

Don't get me wrong, to Pioneer's point, even with people, if you sample enough people you can make generalizations about the group. It is not prefect as in the math case above, but you can get the margin of error down reasonably low to make generalization about a group.

My main disagreement with Pioneer is that individuals are usually not very rigorous in their observations and certainly don't make enough of them to be useful for drawing conclusion for a group.. So if is cool, and factual, to say "I've observed that American Italians and Black people have similarities", but then to make the leap to say is true for all (or even the majority) of other Italian Americans problematic.

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Okay are you saying there is no loss of fidelity. Perhaps my intuition is wrong, but I don't believe you can copy something continous using a discrete function without a loss of fidelity. What I can't quantify is what the loss is in the copying.

if you copied an analog sound using an analog format versus a digital format. Would the copies be of exactly the same quality and if not which would be higher.

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To suggest that meeting hundreds if not thousands of people from a particular group doesn't give you the right to judge them or come to any type of conclusion about them is out of the realm of human social interaction.

If everyone actually did what you suggested was the proper way.....very little would get done because everyone would have to start all over again with everyone they meet.

When you meet a person for a business transaction and shake thier hand you do it because you've done it dozens/hundreds/thousands of times before with other people.

You've made a PRE-sumption that this is the proper way to greet.

You don't show up to a meeting and just stand there with glazed eyes looking at people waiting for them to make the first move, you came smiling with a hand stuck out because that's the stereotype of business.

New York has a large African and Carribean population.

If you saw a Black man walking front of a bus with his head down reading a paper would you first ask him what language he speaks before you shout, "Hey playa....look out!"

I asked you to give me a number of people in a given population do you have to observe to make a proper judgement about them and you still haven't given me an answer.

If MOST of the Italian Americans that I've seen whether in the Midwest or MidAtlantic or Canada tend to like gold jewelry, chase women (if they're men), and have dark hair....and that's not a big enough sample to come to certain conclusions about them, then how big must the sample be?

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