Ethnic Notions- Erin Simard

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This displays how tightly media/culture and popular opinion are intertwined. The minstrel shows (which the film compares to Youtube or other similar forms of social media) took the most absurd excuses for slavery and the dehumanization of black Americans, and transformed them into one of America’s most popular pastimes. It all goes to show that while performance can be an incredible tool for transcendence and for expressing the intangible, it also provides an opportunity to popularize the most dangerous ideas and opinions- both then and now.

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What are the ways in which caricatures of black Americans are popularized now? Has anything changed?

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