How the World Sees Black People


I am sure that many of you have seen this commercial on TV.  I am sure that Cisco meant no harm by making this commercial.  Which is why I am not blaming or complaining about Cisco.  I know a lot of people think that this commercial is “cute” But I see it as annoying.  In this Cisco commercial, a young black boy is being recorded by a cell phone “pop locking ” and dancing.  As he is being recorded, the image of the video is being transmitted through out the world. 

Here lies the problem; What should be seen as a  fun entertaining innocent commercial, is the reminder of the horrible stereotype that the only thing black people can do is either rap, sing bounce a basketball or dance.  Some may think I am reading too much into the commercial; but I really am not.  I often cringe when I find out that people in Africa and across the world only know black people as entertainers and rappers. They see these random images and think that is what we are all about as a people.  I remember when Oprah told the story of how when she first went to Africa, that one the natives greeted her by saying “what’s up my nigga.” The problem is there is not enough balance of images of black people in the media.

So you can understand when I first saw the Cisco commercial I tried to see it as an innocent video, but I just couldn’t.   My boy “The Thinking Black Man”  had the same comments about the commercial; so I know I am not crazy…lol


3 Responses

  1. It’s also interesting because one has to wonder who the target market of the advertisment is. Is it african-americans? Is this what the ad agency thought would appeal to african-americans? And if so — does it in fact appeal to them? Maybe. I don’t know. My guess is that yes, it it probably targeted at african-americans. Kind of the same way they often use what I think of as negative imagery to market to certain segments of the white population. Of course, those segments don’t tend to see it as negative. What do you think?

  2. Hmmmm…after watching the video again, I don’t think they are marketing to african amercians. I guess they just thought it was cute. Still, I see your point and agree.

  3. I think that the commercial was targeted to everyone, but the irony is that due to cultural conditioning, there is no balance of the images of black people in the media. The majority of images in the media of black people are criminal or entertianment.

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