A Special Program Examining the Pervasiveness of Stereotypes in American Culture
As early Americans sought to define their identity in a new country, race became a major fixation. Tarzan and Jane, Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima—these and other stereotypes about Native American, African, and African American people have long been part of the American scene. Watch as noted scholars, writers, and critics discuss the ongoing presence of such stereotypes and the barriers these stereotypes pose to the advancement of American culture.
Gaurav Desai, professor of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan; Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), assistant professor, American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University; Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University; and Jesse Wente (Ojibwe), leading film critic and programmer for indigenous cinema, presented various perspectives on the topic. Tiya Miles, Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor of African American Women’s History, professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, professor of American Culture, professor of History, and professor of Women’s Studies, University of Michigan, served as the evening’s moderator.
A reception in the museum’s Potomac Atrium followed the symposium.
The symposium was webcast live and can be enjoyed here. Webcast viewers are encouraged to participate via Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #Stereotypes.
From Tarzan to Tonto, cosponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, National Museum of the American Indian, and National Museum of African American History and Culture, was generously supported by Accenture.
Free and open to the public