I just saw pictures of old sexist newspaper ads on the Buffalo News website. The ads included the usual hair, appliances, men’s shirts and men are so much smarter than women. What I found was that no one looked like me or anyone in my family. Back in those days, African-Americans didn’t buy shoes, have children, wear clothes or eat. So no one thought to market anything to us. It was as if we didn’t exist. I am part of the first generation of African-Americans who appeared in ads for the general public. In the black media, we existed. I remember seeing OJ Simpson running through airports. I remember the Miller Lite All Star ads with retired players. Now there are ads featuring us all over the place. There are gay and lesbian themed African-American ads. There are interracial couples with their little beige children.
This is the new America. The one that some people find threatening. Father knows best is gone but somehow those old guys from the sexist ads have reappeared.