Sunday, May 12, 2013

Perpetuating Black Male Servitude Imagery Thru Cream of Wheat and Uncle Ben's

by KenRay Sunyaru

As a Black man I’ve learned that one of the primary means in which white male supremacy controls Black males behavior is through their media power of projecting racist stereotypes and images.

One of the particular goals of the white males media power is to influence Black men that are primary responsibility in life is to serve the political and economic interests of white male supremacy and we are reminded everyday through specific marketing of what are role type should be when we eat hot cereal and rice - Cream of Wheat and Uncle Ben's.

Regarding eating hot cereal, on the cover of the Cream of Wheat box there is a Black man; the initial Black man on the cover was known as Rastus. The name ‘Rastus’ has been used as a generic derogatory racist name for Black men at least since 1880, when Joel Chandler Harris included a Black deacon named "Brer Rastus" in the first Uncle Remus book. 

The Black male Rastus image remained on the Cream of Wheat box until the 1920s, when it was replaced by a photograph of Frank L. White, a Chicago chef in chef's hat and jacket. His face has been featured on the box with only slight modifications until the present day. 

When it comes to eating rice, on the cover of Uncle Ben’s Rice is another Black man – ‘Uncle’ as a name was a common prefix appellation used in the Southern United States to refer to older Black male slaves or servants. Moreover an uncle type Black man is an opportunist who will do anything to stay in good standing with "the white man" for economic gains including betraying his own people.

Indeed, from waking-up eating hot Cream of Wheat cereal in the morning for breakfast and later eating Uncle Ben’s rice in the evening for dinner Black men are daily propagandized; we are reminded consciously and unconsciously that we are here to serve white mens dominating and profiteering interests. 

Unfortunately today there are too many Black men knowingly and unknowingly who are self-serving and self-defeating neo-slaves representing, embodying, and perpetuating the slave legacy symbolism and dependent personality disorder of ‘Rastus’ and ‘Uncle’.