By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid
From the same store that stays sold out of Princess Tiana dolls (especially the green-gowned ones), from the same store that stays sold out of the latest Black Barbies (I was lucky I got this one, button not included)….
I saw this display for some Target “Spook-tastic Savings”….
Which is fine–I still watch and collect DVDs, even though they’re becoming an obsolete medium–so I’d purchase some…until I saw exactly what was on sale.
If my photo’s too blurry or the print too small, my deepest apologies. I tried surreptitiously to take the photo. What’s on the shelf:
The Brothers, The Color Purple, Diary of a Tired Black Man, Eve’s Bayou, The Five Heartbeats, Gifted Hands, Good Hair, Purple Rain, Menance II Society, School Daze…
…to name a few.
To those who may not know: ”spook” is a racial slur for Black people.
To answer the question of where I saw this, the display was in a Target in downtown Brooklyn, NY, where a large number of its on-floor staffers are Black and has a very racially and ethnically diverse customer flow.
Of course, we can talk about intentions–the usual variations of “they probably didn’t mean it” that I heard from a couple of customers–but the impact is the continued perpetuation of an single old stereotype, even with a display of new(er) and varied representations of Blackness.
Just in time for the holiday.
I called over a sales associate, a very sweet young Black man.
“‘Spook’ is an offensive term referring to Black people. Having ‘spook-tastic’ and Black films together can be considered offensive.”
He looked at the display with surprise and apologized. “Oh really? I’m so sorry. I’m not in charge of the display.” He looked at it again, the “aha” moment spreading across his face.
“Is there a manager? If you want to let the person know…maybe I can speak to him or her?”
“Sure.” He found a manager in the next aisle. He discussed the situation with her and came back to me.
I said to the sales associate, “Maybe you can find some horror films to put up on the display, which would be more appropriate. But “spook” and Black films…just nah.” When I finished what I said, the manager peeked her head around the corner.
I walked away to try out my iPod on a display stereo to see if music was coming out of one speaker just on my speakers or if it was just jainking up on other equipment.
When I left the store, the associate, the manager, and a security guard gathered around the display, discussing it.
ETA: The sign was changed to something about their “low price promise.” And I purchased a green-gowned Princess Tiana doll.
Photo credits: Andrea (AJ) Plaid
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- Shazza on The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- nicthommi on Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
- the_miekster on Race + The Netherlands: Resistance, Lost in Translation
- moniyer on Race + The Netherlands: Resistance, Lost in Translation
- Juan Miller on The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
- The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- On Disability and Cartographies of Difference
- A Muslimah’s Guide to Rocking the World
- Quoted: Dr. David Leonard Pens Open Letter to Marissa Alexander
- The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season
- Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
- The Walking Dead Recap: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black celebrities comedy diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity interracial relationships Kerry Washington latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion Scandal sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes True Blood tv Uncategorized white youtube