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Coverage of Blacks- Sorority Hazing

According to Ken Smith and Cindy Price, photographs have the ability to portray the roles that are appropriate for different types of people. Back in the 60′s, African Americans were only represented in the mass media in stereotypical roles like crime, sports, and entertainment. Nowadays, this doesn’t seem to occur as much but white faces are still prominent in almost every media industry. This is the most recent issue of Seventeen magazine, and the “life” story of the month was of a black girl whose sorority sisters almost killed her (also black). This was meant to raise the awareness of possible hazing in fraternities and sororities, but this was still an issue of blacks being portrayed in a stereotypical role (crime). “Part of the problem with media coverage of African American issues is that those stories often are based on long-term events and unfold over several years. Unfortunately, they often do not get coverage until they become direct, visual confrontations.” The questions here would be: How long has the hazing by this sorority been going on, and why wasn’t this known until a direct violent confrontation occurred?




Andi, I think you have great questions surrounding this topic. African Americans have been portrayed in an unsavory light in the media that many times it is inescapable on all levels, whether it be for entertainment or news. “A sinister side to sisterhood’ is cleverly created line after the title that almost denotes a sense of mistrust within her own ethnicity, where the word ‘sister’ or ‘sista’ is often seen as a positive within the African-American community. I am really interested in reading the story to see what this young lady’s experience was.


While reading this I thought back to the images of Katrina that were in the news. I remember one situation in which A group of white people were described as “gathering supplies from a store” while a group of black people were describe as stealing. Truly, this is a really interesting topic, thanks for bringing it up.

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