Hollywood often depicts groups of people or cultures in the form of stereotypes — recognizable but inaccurate views of one group of people by another. This website has focused on stereotypes pertaining to African and African culture, including the misconceptions that Africans are uncivilized, unintelligent, and savage. In order to combat similar inaccuracies, we ask you as parents to challenge your child to question what he sees and hears, so he develops an eye for sexism, racism and other prejudices in mainstream media. Ideally, your child will come to realize that images on TV or in movies are not reality. Instead, they are the result of a producer's, a writer's or an actor's point of view.
Be on the lookout for media that uses accents or skin colors to connect negative behavior with a certain cultural group. Are some cultures made out to be dumb? Unimportant? Aggressive? By pointing out negative portrayals based on race, gender or ability, you teach your child not to accept inequity. Your child will begin to appreciate that characters don't have to be portrayed in a narrow way, and that many behaviors and roles have value. If possible, point out when representations of certain cultures or people are missing. Finally, be aware of what your child is watching, and take on the responsibility of screening media to ensure your child is watching appropriate content, as well as being exposed to a variety of viewpoints. Here are some good places to start: