ERIC Number: ED157081
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: 0
"Color" In the Comic Strips: Racial Stereotyping Trends in Black and in White Newspapers.
Stevens, John D.
Any comic strip artist deals in stereotypes. The history of two black comic strips begun in the 1920s, "Bungleton Green" and "Sunny Boy Sam," both of which featured anti-heroes in the "fall guy" tradition, may be traced to show the way in which they portrayed black stereotypes. Black strips engaged in a degree of stereotyping of white characters as well. Comic strips written by whites in the 1930s and 1940s showed blacks as menial background figures or as simpletons; with the rise in black consciousness, these characters disappeared. Black characters returned to white strips during the 1960s, when black children characters began to be introduced. Two black adventure strips of the 1940s, "Jive Gray" and "Speed Jaxon," featured central characters who were military heroes. A significant breakthrough for syndicated comic strips came in 1970 with the introduction of Lt. Flap-a genuinely "black" character whose humor flowed almost directly from his racial identification-in the "Beetle Bailey" comic strip. Even "Tarzan" has become less patronizing toward black African characters. Few black newspapers any longer run their own comic strips. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (59th, College Park, Maryland, July 31-August 4, 1976)