Just a little article I found while searching the internet. Peep!
From Hostility to Reverence:
100 Years of African-American Imagery in Games
By Denis Mercier, Ph.D.(Courtesy of www.ferris.edu)
Of all the American popular genres using African-American imagery, children’s games have been among the most uniformly negative. Only in the last twenty years or so have white game manufacturers softened their depiction of Blacks. And only when Black lobbying has forced the elimination of derogatory racial stereotypes or when Blacks have invented and marketed games themselves, have the images turned from racial satirization to respect.
Like other popular media and genres, games communicate through graphics and text, but their messages are further expressed through the thoughts, actions, and strategies required to play them successfully. Because most players of children’s games are young and impressionable, the imagery and action in those games may well promote racial stereotyping and prejudice, and reinforce or sanction those same attitudes among adult players.
The portrayal of African Americans in games over the past century has undergone an evolution that reflects three distinct eras in American race relations. Board games, first developed in the 1830s, grew in popularity among American middle-class families during the late nineteenth century, at a time when racial prejudice and segregation were on the rise not just in the American South, but also in many of the northern states due to massive immigration from Europe and the migration of southern Blacks to northern cities. Anglo-American fascination with the newcomers, as well as their racial and ethnic prejudices, were reflected throughout popular culture: in music, literature, advertisements, theater, and games. While images of other ethnic groups tended to soften during the first decades of the twentieth century, derogatory African-American imagery, often overtly hostile, was common in American games up to the Second World War. A transitional period, lasting from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, saw African- American imagery all but disappear from most genres of American popular culture, including games. The Civil Rights Movement marked the beginning of another era in toy imagery which continues to today in which both Black and white-owned companies have introduced new, more realistic, and often strongly positive images of Black Americans.
The Years of Hostility:
Games of the late 19th and early 20th centuries reflected racial attitudes ranging from the benign to the aggressively violent. Although some of the games of the first period stereotyped African Americans as comical entertainers, many revealed an intense white hostility towards Blacks. This hostility was legitimated, even celebrated, by making it appear as if the Blacks depicted enjoyed the victimization to which the games subjected them. Many target games of the period portrayed the Black targets as smiling broadly. The unspoken message was that Blacks, unlike other people, felt no pain, so players could indulge in and enjoy aggressive assaults because no real pain was inflicted.
The target games found in traveling carnival shows, seashore resorts and fairgrounds throughout the nation were among the most racially aggressive of all popular games. One popular carnival game which featured names like “Dump the Nigger,” “African Dip,” or “Coon Dip” did not require directly hitting a Black person, but hitting the target device attached to a delicately balanced plank upon which a Black person sat. The target, if hit squarely, caused the sitter to be dumped into the tank below. An even more brutal cousin to “African Dip” was “Hit the Coon” or “African Dodger,” also popular at resorts, fairs, and festivals. A painted canvas of a scene, usually a cotton plantation, had a hole through which a Black man stuck his head and tried to get out of the way of the ball. Small prizes were awarded for a direct hit. In 1878 the C.W.F. Dare Company of New York offered painted “Negro Head Canvases” and “Negro Heads” made of wood since live targets were not always easy to come by. Some operators provided human targets with protective wooden helmets covered with curly hair. Eventually such games grated against public sensibilities and were declared illegal.
Other target games of the era came in a wide variety of forms [Color Plate 1]. A ring-toss called “Garden Aunt Sally” featured a mammy figure smoking a pipe. “The Game of Sambo,” a standup target game produced by Parker Brothers in the early 1900s, had targets which were meant to be comic caricatures of African- American faces. “Bean-Em,” was a beanbag game with Black figures as targets, and there were two ball-toss games: “Hit Me Hard,” in which balls were thrown through the mouth of an incongruously mirthful and “cute” boy-child with an enormous smile, and “Chuck,” in which two players attempted to toss discs shaped like watermelons into an open mouth.
Bagatelle games, the precursor of pinball, were another form of target game. Made of wood, with lithographed paper overlay and nail “pins,” most games were designed to be used with marbles as balls. The “Gropper On. M. Co.” of Brooklyn, New York made one featuring good luck charms (lucky stars, horseshoes, etc.) and “Rastus” and “Rufus,” two “dandy dudes” eyeing each other suspiciously while preparing to shoot dice. (Another character on the game board, “Eruption,” is apparently a stereotyped Irishman).
Under “latest novelty games,” the 1914 Butler Brothers Catalog listed two target games in which racial aggression and sadism were blatantly obvious. The “Little Darky Shooting Gallery” with its “three comic cardboard targets,” one of which was a heavy-set Black woman, came complete with “spring gun and vacuum rubber tipped arrows for $1.95 a dozen.” “Darky Ten Pins” featured “ten 6-1/2 inch heavy cardboard litho coons on wood bases,” each smiling and holding enormous watermelons.
Numerous other companies made and distributed variations of bowling games. Two of the better known ones were “Jim Crow Ten Pins” with smiling minstrel-type figures, and “Zulu Tribe” ten pins with minstrel faces and exotic costumes.(1) Parker Brothers, one of the few major manufacturers to market bowling sets, issued “Sambo Five Pins” in the early 1920s. The inside of the box tells a story which begins, “Sambo was a good ole Southern Darky…”
Black images in target games overtly demonstrated white hostility against African Americans. Yet Black images had been featured since the 1840s in a less violent genre of game-the card game. A relatively non-derogatory image of a Black servant appeared in the popular card game “Dr. Busby” (1843). “Old Maid,” one of the most popular card games ever and the first to be learned by generations of American children, featured a veritable encyclopedia of derogatory stereotypes such as the Black characters “Lily White,” “Jazzbo Jackson,” and “Melon Moe” [Color Plate 16]. “The Game of Ten Little Niggers,” introduced by Parker Brothers in 1895, was a variation of Old Maid that featured Black characters exclusively. The deck contained a pair of each of the ten “Little Niggers” plus one oddball to get “stuck” with. The Fireside Game Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, introduced “In Dixie Land,” a similar game, two years later. This featured black-and-white photos of different “Southern characters,” many of which appeared in postcards.
Jigsaw puzzles, initially limited to geographical subjects, came to the United States from England in the 1870s. Soon manufacturers introduced other subject matter, including Black stereotypes which appealed to the American middle-class market. In 1874, the McLoughlin Brothers of New York manufactured a puzzle called “Chopped Up Niggers.” Although the puzzle’s images of Blacks were more sympathetic than many of the period, the blatant sadism of the name is clear. Around 1905 J.R. Brundage, Inc. “Things Unusual” of New York brought out a line of jigsaw puzzles, one showing Black men dancing madly in formal evening clothes entitled “Woozy Jig.”
Many of the images of African Americans in card games and puzzles stereotyped Blacks as comical [Color Plate 17]. That stereotype was especially prevalent in mechanical games. In 1912 the page of “Popular Games of all Kinds” in the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog featured a game from “Timi-Tipp” of Germany:
Jolly Coon Race, 89 cents
A new and very comical game for two or three people. Metal Figures of darkies with moveable arms, racing along three poles. Their comical actions are very funny. All start at the same time and it is exceedingly amusing to see the race…
Easing Into Transition:
A growing population of Blacks in northern cities resulting from the great migration of southern Blacks after the First World War gradually developed the leadership and organization necessary to fight for civil rights and combat derogatory racial stereotypes. In response, during the 1920s, white manufacturers began to tone down the broadest, most overdrawn Black caricatures.
By the 1930s, manufacturers had by and large ceased to design new games which portrayed Blacks as “targets,” and many of the “older” designs were produced in dwindling numbers. Although bowling games remained popular throughout the 1930s, the pins portrayed not just Blacks, but other “amusing” characters.(2) In the Russel Manufacturing Company’s “Goof Race and Ten Pins,” three “goofs,” a soldier, a clown, and a watermelon-eating Black figure, could be made either to “race” down an incline or to line up to be bowled over.
Board games of the 1930s reflecting this decline in violent racial undercurrents included “Snake Eyes,” a craps-like game by Selchow and Righter of New York, featuring Black faces with “roly-boly” eyes on its cover. Various “–Amos ‘n’ Andy” games and puzzles were used as promotions by the Pepsodent Companv. the radio program’s sponsor at the time.(3) Although these games contained no physical violence or hostility, they continued to trivialize Blacks and deny them dignity.
Trends towards improved depiction of Blacks in games during this period did not exclude the appearance of games containing old stereotypes. Currents of popular culture flow in many directions simultaneously. As late as 1928 the “African Dip” was still being advertised in various amusement catalogs, among them The Billboard of June 16:
An African Dip It’ll get You The Bank Roll
The Game that Always Gets Top Money at Carnivals, Parks, Fairs, Picnics and wherever a Crowd is Gathered
Seeing is Believing!
Men you see an AFRICAN DIP working, take out your watch and time how many balls are being thrown. Figure the price paid for the balls, selling three for a dime. It is common to take in over $40.00 per hour, sometimes $50.00. Notice how pleased the people are that spent their money. Also the fun the onlookers had.
In 1940, All-Metals Products Co. of Wyandotte, Michigan marketed a “Sambo Target” for use with their toy pistol set. A gap-toothed, bug-eyed young Sambo was the centerpiece of a brightly lithographed, metal target board.
As in the previous decade, broad caricature was more prevalent than overt violence in the 1940s. A “Pickaninny Jackpot” board and punchboard game featured cards portraying stereotyped Black children holding up watermelons with the “jackpot” figures printed on the melons. These images perpetuated the pickaninny- watermelon stereotype that persisted since antebellum times. In 1945, a game called “The Adventures of Little Black Sambo” used graphics heavily influenced by the illustrations in contemporary editions of the children’s book: an African “native” with minstrel-like features and no hair [Color Plate 14]. A “Deluxe” Old Maid game of the late forties by Playtime House of Rochester, New York, featured “Mamie (sic) Pamby” as pair number 13. “Mamie” was the archetypal Mammy.
Although in the early 1950s Selchow and Righter reissued “Snake Eyes” without changing the graphics, as the decade progressed, and the political and economic clout of African Americans grew, Blacks ceased to be the literal and figurative targets of abuse and ridicule. As in nearly every other genre of popular culture, images of Blacks disappeared entirely from games during the turbulent civil rights years. Images of African Americans simply became too “controversial” for the culture-makers to treat in overtly derogatory–or any other–ways.
Post-Civil Rights: Respect to Reverence
African Americans remained invisible in the game genre long after they achieved de jure the equality of their rights. Mainstream game makers such as Selchow and Righter, Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers slowly integrated Black characters, issues and accomplishments into their offerings as they revised games or created new ones. This study, despite much effort, has yet to discover any attempt by mainstream manufacturers to market “Black editions” of established games to the growing African-American market. As the Black consumer, game-playing market grew, it demanded games that encouraged Black pride [Color Plate 15]. For the most part, Black entrepreneurs alone met this demand.
In 1974 a mainstream manufacturer, EDU-CARDS, a division of KPB Industries of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, offered a flash card set, “Famous Black People in American History.” The game involved showing a charcoal portrait of a famous person, giving a clue, and asking, “Who am I?” The subjects ranged from Marian Anderson to Phyllis Wheatley.
More typical of the slow and deliberate pace of integration was the 1978 edition of Milton Bradley’s “Chutes and Ladders,” which included a young Black boy as one of the moveable game pieces. (The other game pieces depicted white little boys and girls.)
The phenomenally successful “Trivial Pursuit” series of games included numerous references to African Americans in the arts, media, sports and history. Marketed jointly by Horn Abbot and Selchow and Righter, all of the series-from the original Genus in 1981, the Silver Screen, All-Star Sports and Baby Boomer in 1983 to the Young Players in 1985 -liberally acknowledged Black participation in and contributions to U.S. and world events.
Among lesser-known manufacturers, the John N. Hansen Co. Inc. and TRIVIA GAMES INC. produced versions of “JUNIOR TRIVIA” (ca. 1985). The questions from the categories Entertainment/Famous People, Sports/Games, Science/Computers, Literature/Art/Words, Geography/Space, and History/Traditions include little about Black achievement and contribution beyond that of sports heroes such as “Dr. J.” (Julius Irving). Instead the questions ask about Fat Albert’s favorite sport, the nickname of the 747 airplane (“Fat Albert”), the country in which Dr. Livingston worked (Africa), the Friday of the Wall Street Crash in 1929 (“black”), and the Ku Klux Klan.
Hersch and Company’s “Out of Context: Game of Outrageous Quotes” (1985) included quotes by Jesse Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Joe Louis, Richard Pryor, Andrew Young, Angela Davis, Wilt Chamberlain, Vanessa Williams, Sonny Liston, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Mr. T., Eddie Murphy and more. Game players could not help but realize the major role Blacks play in everyone’s daily lives. But it took Black entrepreneurs to celebrate and revere African Americans in games.
With U.S. Games Systems, Inc. of Stamford, Connecticut, educator Deloris L. Holt and illustrator Langley Newman, published the “Black Historv Playing Card Deck” (1977). It is a complete deck of cards divided into four suits: Human Rights, Adventure, Science and Industry, and the Arts. In the Arts suit, for example, the King is Paul Robeson, the Queen Lorraine Hansberry; the Jack is Louis Armstrong, the Ten Muhammad Ali, the Nine Bessie Smith, the Eight Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the Seven Jackie Robinson, the Six Henry Ossawa Tanner, the Five Jessie Owens, the Four Langston Hughes, the Three Henry Zino, the Two Ira Aldridge, and the Ace Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington. Each card features a color portrait and a separate booklet contains short biographies of each “notable black person in America’s rich heritage.”
Developed in 1987, “Black Americana HIGH ACHIEVER” is patterned loosely on the “Trivial Pursuit” model. The game contains over 2500 questions on African-American history and culture. A sample question is “From what Black college did teacher-astronaut Sharon Christa McAuliffe graduate?”(4)
Over the past one hundred years or so the attitude toward African Americans in games has evolved from hostility to at least grudging respect. The evolution has been uneven, however. The most primitive period was by far the longest. Furthermore, the recent and as yet much briefer dramatic turn toward reverence is due to Black initiative and participation.
– Image from Time.com –
Persistence Motivational Quotes: 5 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Goals
(courtesy of www.inspiredabundance.com)
Persistence and perseverance are essential qualities to achieving your goals and becoming successful in life. It’s your willingness to persevere — to persist without exception — that is going to enable you to accomplish what you want to accomplish. And it’s what enables you to ultimately attract the abundance and prosperity you desperately want in your life.
You can call this trait whatever you like — persistence, perseverance, tenacity, determination, doggedness, tenaciousness, strength, or purpose — but regardless of what you call it, it is a common trait in every successful person.
One of my favorite books is The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews. In the book, he describes what he calls the seven decisions that determine personal success. The seventh decision is this: I will persist, without exception. Successful people persist without exception. Without exception means just that. It means that you find a way when there is no way. That is when most breakthroughs occur.
What is your pattern? Do you quit at the first sign of trouble and stop moving, or do you adjust course and keep moving forward in whatever way you can with an emphasis on remaining in motion? The minute you stop, you have sealed your failure. If you never persist, you will always fail.
Exhibit enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is such a key ingredient because when the going gets tough and you are prone to become discouraged, it is your enthusiasm that will provide the energy you need to keep going. Are you bringing enthusiasm to what you want to accomplish?
Trust in your ideas. It’s been said that everyone, including you, has at least one million dollar idea. Yet few will act on the idea and far fewer still will stay with it. If you knew your idea was guaranteed to make you rich one day, for how long would you be prepared to stick with it?
Stay in motion. If you are taking a road trip and encounter a roadblock or barricade, do you look for a detour or do you turn around, go back home, and cancel the trip? You keep looking for ways around of course. And so it may mean you move slowly, but the point is you are still moving.
Master your craft. Rarely do things come easy, especially when it is a new field or subject area about which you are unfamiliar. For example, if you start a business for the first time, you will not be an instant expert at it and will certainly make some mistakes. The third and fourth tries are about learning and becoming an expert at your craft.
Stay committed. To persevere is not glamorous. When you are truly committed to a particular outcome, it is your vision of that outcome that keeps you going. At any point in time, it can be very hard work to persevere in the face of little or no apparent progress. Ask yourself, how committed to the outcome you desire are you really? Edison failed at perfecting the light bulb 2000 times! What do you suppose would have happened had he concluded it was impossible?
So what about you? Do you intend to leave a legacy of “could have, would have, and should have” or a legacy of things you are proud to have accomplished? Here are ten top motivational quotes that deal with with subject of persistence:
- “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” (Conrad Hilton)
- “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” (Dale Carnegie)
- “Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done right.” (Walt Disney)
- “I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.” (Abraham Lincoln)
- “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” (John Albert Michener)
- “Failure is the path of least persistence.” (Anonymous)
- “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” (Newt Gingrich)
- “Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.” (Thomas Edison)
- “When I thought I couldn’t go on, I forced myself to keep going. My success is based on persistence, not luck.” (Norman Lear)
- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” (Mark Twain)
Copyright © 2009 by Warren Wojnowski, All Rights Reserved
Bio(Courtesy of RnBHaven.com):
Chante Moore was born in 1967 in San Francisco, California. Her father was a gospel minister and so Moore spent a lot of time singing in the church.
In high school, Moore decided she wanted to be a singer after performing in a high school rendition of The Wiz. However, before getting her opportunity, she was a beauty pageant contestant and a successful model. At the age of 22, she had her chance when she met record executive Louil Silas.
On Silas label, Moore released the album Precious in 1992. The album featured two singles that performed respectably, ‘Love’s Taken Over’ which reached #13 on the R&B charts and ‘It’s Alright’ which reached similar levels. The album was certified gold by the RIAA.
In 1994, Moore released the album A Love Supreme. The album didn’t reach the same levels of success as Precious but it did have one moderate hit in ‘Old School Lovin’.’ The single reached #19 on the R&B charts.
Moore married Kadeem Hardison in 1997 and remained with him until 2000. Together, they had their daughter Sophia Hardison. While married, Moore released her third album, This Moment Is Mine. The album featured Chante’s biggest hit to date with ‘Chante’s Got A Man.’ The track reached #10 on the Hot 100 and went gold.
Chante then diverged from her usual work in 2000 with her fourth album, Exposed. The album was edgier and strayed from the subtle sound of her previous works. With production from Jermaine Dupri, her single ‘Straight Up’ did well in Europe but only reached #22 on the R&B charts in the United States.
After being dropped from her label, Moore married singer Kenny Lattimore in 2002. They had a son together, Kenny in 2003. During that same year, the two put out an album together, Things That Lovers Do. The album featured duets by the two singers and is to be followed-up by a similar album, Uncovered/Covered in late 2006.
It has also been confirmed that Chante has signed a new record deal and is recording songs for a new solo album scheduled for release in 2007.
Bio(Courtesy of www.aaregistry.com):
August 30, Robin Harris was born on this date in 1953. He was an African-American comedian and actor.
He was born in Chicago, where his father was a welder and his mother a factory seamstress. In 1961, the family moved to Los Angeles where he attended Manual Arts High School. A track star, Harris got a scholarship and attended Ottawa University in Kansas. It was during this time that Harris began to hone his craft of comedy. He worked for Hughes Aircraft, a rental car company, and Security Pacific Bank to pay his bills. In 1980, he debuted at Los Angeles’ Comedy Store with little response.
1985 was his year. As the master of ceremonies at the Comedy Act Theater, his “old school” brand of humor began to gain him a mainstream following. A large-eyed stand-up churlish brand of humor and quick put-downs were his trademark. Harris made a promising feature debut playing a smart-ass bartender in “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka” (1988). A very sensitive man and a professional, Harris continued with Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” (1989), where he really stood out. As Sweet Dick Willie, Harris served as part of the neighborhood “Greek chorus” that commented on the events of an increasingly tense day.
From there, Harris had a perfect platform as Pop, the no-nonsense, quick-witted father of Kid in “House Party” (1990). He followed up later that year with a small turn as a jazz club MC in “Mo’ Better Blues.”
Early in 1990, Harris was keeping a very tight schedule, which demanded much travel and long hours. He had respiratory problems and often nodded off during the day.
Arriving in his hometown for an appearance at the Chicago’s Regal Theater, he failed to meet friends the day after. His mother found him dead at his hotel on March 18, 1990.
Reference: Comedy Cartel 31934 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Also… Check for this Documentary on Robin:
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