FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS

#AnimatedMinstrel #BlackFace #MediaRepresentation 

This piece was an animated portrait of Fat Albert and his friends inside of a sign that reads “welcome to creative ambitions”. This sign was made into a door that allows access to another section of the garden. In the background of the painting are mountains along with a busted picket fence.

Content compiled by Alex Casey

IMPACT

Fat Albert Changed Cartoons Forever.

Minstrel shows made it socially acceptable to turn racism into comedy while using that comedy to give off the image that African Americans were less than white people at the time. These shows impacted the way in which other Americans, especially segregated whites, unconsciously viewed African Americans, which kept racism alive. It would keep African Americans down by shaping the minds of the people to categorize them with these stereotypes of being lazy, dumb, and uneducated. Although this portrait is only of a few individuals, it can represent an entire ethnicity in the eyes of society, just like these minstrel and animated shows have done. This would keep them from gaining social status or even being able to hold a good job.

STORIES FROM THE GARDEN

“We have come a long way in the past 100 years when it comes to representing minorities on television. Even in Asheville these shows were played and people watched them together and laughed at the racist animations. But we did and still are moving past these horrible shows and representations. Television still has some work to do on representation.” Read more of Isaac Northup’s analysis on the impact of animated minstrelsy on American ideologies of race and difference.