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Title:The “Black Nerd Stereotype” & The African American Representation in the Media
Author(s):Jermaine Windham
Subject(s):African American Studies
Abstract:This project highlights an important topic in today’s society. Being created for my English 102 course, assigned by English professor, Lauren McPherson, I was given the nudge to research and explore topics that felt very relevant to me. I chose my project to focus on the idea and image of the “black nerd stereotype”. As an African American male who has always been faced with issues pertaining to social identity and microaggressions, I felt as though this topic would be perfect for me to talk about. African American stereotypes are talked about from time to time, but no one really brings up or mentions anything about the black nerd stereotype and the effect that occurs because of that stereotype and all other stereotypes. The topic of African American stereotypes has always been a cause of concern because of the racial discriminatory history that African Americans have dealt with. Today, these stereotypes about the black community are used to make assumptions about people and to keep people simplified so that they are better familiarized and categorized in society. This is not how we should think. My project goes in-depth about how stereotyping interferes with individual and social freedom. Stereotypes are undoubtedly offensive because people will make false accusations on the way a person should act or behave, while also leaving those people to feel like outcasts if one acts out the societal norm and image. The media does a lot to influence these images. My project goes into detail on how and why we need to improve the image of black Americans and create an environment where people are free to be themselves by eliminating the use of stereotypes in the black community including the black thug, brute, and the focal black nerd stereotype. Some of the main ideas I focused on in my research project were the background and importance of learning about the black nerd and other stereotypes, the idea of “acting white”, black and toxic masculinity, and the examples of black stereotypes in media and how it plays a major role in both social and self-identity. This research paper uses factual information in order to inform the audience of the impacts of stereotyping in the black community and expresses the importance of not making assumptions about people regardless of societal norms.
Issue Date:2020
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-05-07

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