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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the ways in which ethnicity has been constructed historically in children’s media in the United States and the ways in which Blackness has been represented linguistically via the voicing of characters that either are African American or are suggested to be African American (i.e., non-human characters who are voiced by African American actors, or have been animated in ways that suggest physical features of African American ethnicity). Though these films have always been intended for the naïve, they have insidiously included the social and political sentiments of their time periods. The representations of non-whites have been framed by the mainstream ideologies of the eras in which the films were created, which is especially evident in the manipulation of the language used to denote ethnicity. The result is a construction of an ethnic stereotype that serves as a historical reflection of European American attitudes regarding African Americans.

Keywords: film, animation, children, voicing, ethnicity, representation, mainstream ideologies, stereotype

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