Social Stereotypes in Real Time
May 13, 15
This reading was really profound. Gill Valentine is really out there I guess that’s why purchasing the book was so expensive. But in the reading some of the issues I have faced as an African American stood out to me. I liked the reading of Social Geographies: Space and Society it was really mind blowing. One thing I did not like is associating homosexuality or lesbianism with African American racial injustice. I understood what she was saying but grouping those two are not synonymous by any means. African Americans were slaves, we were abused, we were not considered a human and we were tortured and separated from our families. While I know that gays and lesbians have suffered abuse they were never taken from their motherland and made slaves. So that grouping together gets on my nerves.
Yet she touched on things I have suffered as an African American. Those things are stereotypes just because of the color of your skin and the body you are in. She talked about space and the body and that was something that got me. In her words, “the black body has been understood to be pre-social, to be driven by biology, in opposition to the civilized and rational white body (Shilling 1993).” This concept is still prevalent today in the minds of a lot of people. And for years it’s had an effect on me. Going into a store and people feeling like you are about to steal something or that you are a potential threat. My geographical background may not be the best neighborhood to grow up in but my father was a civilized man and we were taught that way. But growing up people did not see it that way and not just white people other races too. Now here is another excerpt that a lot of that has come from. Valentine says, “in particular, colonization and slavery have played an important part in defining and developing understanding of black bodies as driven by insatiable sexual appetites, ‘dangerous’, uncivilized, uncontrollable, and a threat to whites.” This social stereotype is still in the minds of many whites when there are African Americans who are very civilized, under control and are not insatiable animals. To me more African Americans are civilized than those who are not. In every race you have your nut cases and it is not just in the African American race.
It was hard growing up with this type of stereotyping. I can remember any store I went into in the suburb being followed around the store and constantly questioned what did I want or do you need some help? They should of asked why are you here are you going to steal something or rob us because that’s they way they came off? This is just the tip of the iceberg because there is much more. For instance recently, the same anxieties about the black body have been reproduced in racist claims that AIDS originated in Africa. I know that all people don’t believe this but some do and it is so disheartening that you have to put up with this type of stereotyping when we have a black president and African American first lady of the United States. I don’t believe AIDS started in Africa or that the Ebola out break came from Africa either.
Who we are should be defined not by the color of our bodies or where we have come from. We should be defined by what we do and how we act not before we do or before we act. Stereotypes are here today and with all the accomplishments of African Americans in the United States you would think people would stop thinking we are uncivilized animals. A lot of times as a preacher of the gospel we have to bring civility to those you would think were the most civilized!
 Valentine, Gill (2014-06-06). Social Geographies: Space and Society (Kindle Locations 655-656). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., 656-657.
 Ibid., 679-680.