Advertising's Attitude of Servitude

Slavery was so ingrained into American culture that even after it was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, black people were depicted almost exclusively as servants in advertisements. They were characterized as uneducated, poorly speaking stereotypes who cleaned and cooked for rich white families; particularly prevalent is the presence of black female maids. Most important to note is how happy people appear in these advertisements, promoting the idea that black people were content in servitude, undermining the struggle for equality in America.

Rice Krispies, 1932

Sanka Coffee, 1933

Monel, 1939

Tracy Sinks, 1942

Hoover, 1934
"Mah Lady Gives Me Sundays Off!"

"Yeah? -Well I Gets Part of every day off- mah folks got the Hoover."

Servel, 1944
"Law-dy, it sure is quiet!"

It's not all about the ladies this time... black boys and men were regularly depicted as happily uneducated servants too.

Cream of Wheat, Year Unknown

Fry's Cocoa, 1842

Talon, 1934

Nu-Top, Year Unknown

Hires Rootbeer, Year Unknown

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