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African American Comedies Effect Essay

1436 words - 6 pages

African American Comedies Effect on my Childhood and Growth
When you’re bored, what do you do? I find that when boredom hits reading a book simply puts me to sleep. I find boredom cured by television; but as I’m sure you already know that even television can bore you to tears sometimes! I have found that I enjoy watching comedies to entertain me, but not pointless comedies with no plot; just jokes. I am enticed by comedies with a good plot and that teaches me more than just how to make someone laugh. I watch shows like The Cosby Show, Good Times, Living Single and The Jeffersons. These are just a few examples of comedies that entertained me while I was growing up while also educating me in strong life and family lessons. It is not a coincidence that all these shows are African American created and also starred by. It was not and is not uncommon for African American shows to portray a great sense of education, family, and love. There is a never ending negative aura surrounding African American shows; especially those that the cast is mostly or fully of Negro background. The stereotype is violence, drugs, foul language, rough behavior and mannerisms etc. African American comedies have indubitably impacted me in more ways than one. Whether through memorable running gags or episodes that touched base on poignant societal topics; African American comedies has had a major effect on my childhood and growth. Whether or not they have had a more positive or negative affect on my life at this point is a mystery. I hope that by exploring the comedies I have watched I will be able to solve this mystery.
Let me first explore the possible negative effects. Some negative effects I found are due to poor morally connected content; content that is not intellectually stimulating. Shows that focus on sexual activity without illustrating the importance and life altering consequences, and shows that focus on guns and violence as a means to attain power and popularity. These types of shows however are not really specific to solely African American shows. A more African American specific effect is the hitting of children to discipline them. Threatening and beating with a belt is very common amongst the black culture as the primary means of disciplining children. Shows such as The Bernie Mac show and more recently Tyler Perry’s Madea shows and film explicitly show children being disciplined using this aggressive manner. Bernie Mac also had a habit of scolding and verbally abusing his niece and nephew. The problem is that these forms of discipline some consider to be abusive. As a child I was disciplined using these methods and I do not feel like I was abused at all. In my opinion the choice my parents made to discipline me using this manner served its purpose. I learned my lesson and I never made those bad choices again. LaShaun Williams is a highly respected culture and parenting columnist who stated in one of her articles that there are different types and reasons...

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