Monday, February 7, 2011

The Angry Black Woman Goes to the SuperBowl

If you're like most of us, during the Superbowl you look forward to the commercials as much as you look forward to the game (sometimes you look forward to the commercials more than you look forward to the game).  Over the years the Superbowl has given us some of the best commercials TV has to offer, like the E-Trade baby, the Bud-light and the "waaaaa-suuuuuup" guys and the infamous Spuds McKenzie dog.  At $2.6 Million/30Seconds, advertising agencies can get pretty creative.  This year, my personal favorites included the Doritos commercial where the guy licked the other guy's fingers after the other guy finished a bag of Doritos, the Volkswagon commercial where the kid dressed as Darth Vader used "the force" to start the car (with dad's help), and the Bridgestone Tire commercial where the guy ran around knocking everybody's blackberries and laptops out of their hands after he is told that he sent a "reply-all" e-mail that he shouldn't have sent.  One commercial that wasn't particularly funny but that is nonetheless causing a little bit of a stir among the blogosphere was the Pepsi Max commercial featured below.

In this commercial, you see a young black couple going through the trials and tribulations of trying to keep the young man on a diet.  Ever time the brother attempts to eat something that is bad for him, his girlfriend appears out of nowhere and either smacks him or snatches the food out of his hand.   In the final seconds of the commercial we see the young brother sit down on a park bench and enjoy a Pepsi Max and brace himself for the hit that never comes from his girlfriend who, surprisingly to him, approves of the beverage.  Then, in a last ditch attempt at humor, we see a White girl sit down at the bench beside the brother and flirt with him slightly, he smiles back, and the Black girlfriend, seeing this, throws her Pepsi Max can at the brother, who ducks, and she inadvertently hits the young White lady in the head; thus exposing the angry Black woman who constantly emerges to remind the Black community that we are losing our Black men to White women. But are we really? (video after the jump)


Now, on the surface the reaction of the girlfriend in the commercial could possibly be downplayed as a typical reaction that ANY girlfriend would give to her boyfriend who smiles at another woman, but it's difficult, given the sensitive history of this subject, to overlook the race of the characters that Pepsi chose to use here.  Could it be a mere coincidence?  Sure.  It could be a mere coincidence.  But this so-called "angry Black woman" stereotype is no secret.  Especially when it comes to the subject of Black men dating white women. 

Which brings us to another problem.  Recently the NY Times ran a piece (login required) about interracial relationships where, despite all the hype that we hear about brothers dating white women, it broke down that only 7 in 1000 married White women (less than 1%) are married to a Black man and only 76 out of 1000 married Black men (7%) are married to a White woman. But there's still a rather significant segment of Black females who feel that the number of Black men dating outside of their race is substantially higher than what these numbers let on.  This begs a few questions:

1. Given the extremely low number of Black Men who actually marry White women (and vice versa) why does a significant segment of Black women still believe that this is a problem?
2. Is there still an impetus in 2011 for Black Men to marry Black Women? 
3. Is the so-called "angry Black woman" stereotype a valid depiction of Black women when it comes to Black Men who date/marry White women? 
4. Did Pepsi know purposely play on the Black man/White woman scenario here or was this mere coincidence?
blog comments powered by Disqus