“…Media outlets were a contributing factor for some of the frustration in African American community during the politically charged time of the mid-1960s because blacks were represented in the mass media only as “train porters, sports heroes, entertainers, or criminals (1994, p. 380).”
Celebrities, athletes, models and entertainers grace the covers of magazines in an effort to intrigue enough reader curiosity to peel back the layers of content in monthly publications. While surveying the sea of glossies on a recent trip to the grocery store, I recalled the class reading regarding Smith & Price’s observation of the portrayal of African Americans in nondaily news publications. The reading noted that the way African Americans are portrayed in the media gives society a stereotypical representation of the whole race. As unfortunate as it may be, this statement sheds light on a subject that is familiar in the African American community. Although it is unfortunate that athletes and entertainers are only featured for their heightened popularity, it was truly rewarding to see the Presidential couple, President Obama and Michelle, featured on the front cover of one of the magazines. The copy reinforced a positive image of African Americans in a non-stereotypical depiction that is contrary to past images of arrested, battling addictions or any references illustrating lower socio-economic status. When society is confronted with the images of different races and ethnicities on television in a negative light, it obstructs the acceptance of other cultures that are unfamiliar to the general population. Consequently, the barrage of misrepresented photos has the potential to portray cultures in an unfavorable light.