Top 4 Black Tropes I’m Tired of Seeing

Hey all,

When reading other perspectives, it’s sometimes difficult to spot harmful stereotypes. Hell, I’m not perfect, I’ve too fallen victim of celebrating books, TV, etc that features annoying racist tropes.

I think it’s important for people to know the difference between culture and stereotypes and so here’s the top 4 black tropes I’m tired of seeing in books. 

**And I would like to note that this is in my personal experience as a black woman.**

 

Token Black Friend

Image result for token black friend

Have you read a book that features a white main character who has that sassy/comic relief black friend? Or are they the black friend that rises above all the negative stereotypes and becomes the Oreo of the group (white on the inside black on the outside)? Folks, that’s your token black friend. I’ve been one, I’ve seen them on TV,  I read them in books. It’s annoying and I’m begging for this trope to finally end.

The White Savior

Image result for examples of the white savior blind side

Probably my favorite. Are you reading in a white perspective that helps a black person rise up against adversity  No black (POC in general) don’t want White people’s help. It’s not beautiful, it’s not inspiring. It implies that Black people are incapable of succeeding without a white savior. Also, there can be POC heroes too. Shocker!

The Strong Black Woman 

Image result for strong black woman trope

Oh, this is my most hated one for a number of reasons. I know that the trope name should be a compliment towards black woman but it’s actually the opposite. People (non-black people) who believe that black woman are supposed to be this “strong independent black woman who needs no man” *snaps fingers in z formation* actually makes it seem that black woman doesn’t go through depression, anxiety, etc. It makes it seem like black woman are supposed to be strong 27/7 and that if we show a hint of weakness, we are no longer “black.” Throughout my whole life, I felt like I had to hide my mental illness due to society’s image of the strong black woman (whoops getting a little ahead of myself). I’m a big advocate on POC and mental health so this trope is my biggest pet peeve.

Using Coffee to describe Black Skin

Image result for black people and coffee

Get your venti iced skinny mocha macchiato, sugar-free syrup, extra shot, light ice, no whip ass out of here please.

What other culture stereotypes are you tired of seeing ? List them down below!

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12 thoughts on “Top 4 Black Tropes I’m Tired of Seeing

  1. I agree with all of these! As an Indian, I’m so sick and tired of the portrayal that we all love Bollywood or that we are super into singing and dancing. There’s tropes of us having terrible accents and having parents that essentially live in a cultural bubble. It can be very frustrating.

  2. I personally can’t relate to any of these, but I have totally seen them before in books, especially the last one. So many times in books I’ve seen the black characters being described with coffee!! Until now though I hadn’t given it much thought though, I’m ashamed to say, but oh my gosh, it’s so unnecessary and too common in books. The white saviour thing as well needs to go! All of these, actually. Such a great post! ❤

    1. Thank you! I also didn’t noticed them until I saw it over and over again. There’s probably way more tropes and hopefully more people can uncover these problematic themes.

  3. This is such a great and important post! I hate when black, and most people of color, have their skin described as coffee or chocolate or any brown food. It’s so annoying! Also, I had never thought about the strong black women trope. It is so true, though. The way they depict them isn’t necessarily of strong character or personality, which would be good, but instead of unwavering strength, as if they cannot have vulnerabilities.In a way, it makes them less human, as if they cannot be afraid or deal with issues. It’s a very harmful idea and totally needs to stop. Again, great post!

    1. Thank you :)! Yeah, I really don’t like the “strong black girl” trope probably because I always felt that I can’t be vulnerable because I’m black. Especially with this stigma that POC don’t face mental illnesses and that also angers me to no end!

      1. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, but I’d also heard mostly very positive reviews before reading so I went in with very high expectations. It’s definitely different from other YA cancer stories, but I found the characters annoying. The boys were much too vulgar and immature.

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