Part Deux: How The Burger King Commercial Turned Into A Research Entry

Watermelon Stereotype

 

Yes, friends, I had to go here. As if I don’t have three other classes to write  for, I had to find evidence to prove my claim that chicken and watermelon stereotypes stem from slavery.  Further, they were reinforced by Jim Crow and minstrelsy.

It is well documented that slaves were often deprived of FOOD. So they would end up stealing the most accessible sources of food, which at the time were chickens and watermelon. White masters/planters/property owners turned the cruelty of food deprivation into “those blacks sure do like chicken and watermelon.” And the racist stereotype was born.

Of course, this is a simple entry for a complex topic that deserves more research, and there is plenty of it out there. So if you are interested in pursuing this topic, go for it!

I began with a Google search: pictures of minstrel performers with watermelon, and this search came up with a wealth of sites.

Thanks…I have to go eat breakfast now.

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4 thoughts on “Part Deux: How The Burger King Commercial Turned Into A Research Entry

  1. Wow…i mean…wow, I can’t believe anyone could even come up with that pictures. Thanks for sharing though, I must confess I didn’t know what the stereotype was and where it came from. Now I know.

  2. Ok, I’m really sorry. I definitely didn’t mean for this to become a burden. I found the minstrel character and many offensive pictures like the one you posted above. What I didn’t find was anything that resembled a “smoking gun” as far as evidence to the origin. I have a historical curiosity that’s hard to satiate, I apologize; let’s just say case closed.
    Thank you
    G.G.

      • Yea, that’s a great website, thank you. It also said that the origin was unclear and then it speculates on what it could be. I also learned (because of your post, thank you) that either watermelon, or a very close relative to it, was indigenous to many parts of Africa. The logic behind this was that another historian was speculating that there was a familiarity with the melon. I could see that being a possible origin too, but I guess it’s all really speculation. But an interesting topic to research for sure. Have relatives from the South who salt their watermelon, yuck.
        Thanks again,
        G.G.

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