From the archive: ‘Ethnic Notions’ by Marlon Riggs

From cartoons to money boxes, early advertising to characters in films, negative stereotypes and caricatures of people of African descent have historically pervaded popular culture in America. One of the best and most eloquently written documentaries on this subject is Ethnic Notions by the late African-American activist, writer and filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Here is a 5-minute snippet from the introduction. To order a DVD of the full-length film, for teaching purposes or personal information, visit the California Newsreel Website. The film was inspired by the exhibition Ethnic Notions: Black Images in the White Mind hosed at the at the Berkley Art Center (BAC) in 1982, which was based on the personal collection of African American social worker Janette Faulkner. The exhibition was restaged again by the Center in the autumn of 2000.  More information on the exhibition and accompanying catalogue can be found in the BAC Archive.

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