a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.
Caricatures. I have never cared for them. Why? Because they are used to mock or make fun of others. Caricatures (in the beginning) were primarily used to mock and make fun of Black people particularly here in the United States. That I tell you is just a cold hard fact. Google it’s history and you will see that I am telling the truth. I see no need to lie or sugar coat it; it is what it is. Caricatures are very offensive and demeaning, yet they were used as a comedic effect to sell products at the expense of those they mocked. Believe it or not, a lot of money was made using these stereotypical caricatures.
I remember hearing stories from my parents and grandparents how these caricatures would be all over TV and newspapers to advertise a certain product or products. Upon seeing them in museums and on documentaries as I got older, I began to understand why they found them to be so offensive. Visit any historical Black museum or watch any of the Black history documentaries this month and you will see exactly what I am talking about.
Black people were often depicted with oversized big lips, huge noses, short stubby nappy hair and dumb. Yes full lips, broad noses and coiled / curly hair is a trait among Black people, but the way Black people were depicted in these caricatures is a far cry from how Black people really looked. As far as being dumb, well we all know that was something most of those racist poor souls liked to think to make themselves feel better.
I saw a black history special recently that discussed how these caricatures are now very expensive antiques. There are some caricatures that sell for thousands and thousands of dollars for die hard collectors. Who would have thought that something so offensive would be worth so much of money nowadays. I guess they want to own a little piece of history. You will never catch me running out to buy one. I prefer to see all people in a positive light rather than a negative one.
Until next time…