Memphis Magazine Produces Insensitive Mayoral Race Cover

Media Statement from Deidre Malone, President of NAACP Memphis Branch
By: NAACP Memphis Branch
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* NAACP Memphis Branch

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* Memphis - Tennessee - US

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Aug. 31, 2019 - PRLog -- The NAACP Memphis Branch Executive Committee and General Membership are taking issue with the local publication Memphis Magazineand their recent depiction of Memphis mayoral candidates Willie Herenton, Tami Sawyer and Jim Strickland on its September 2019 cover because of its insensitive and offensive caricatures.

"I'm away on vacation this week, but a concerned friend and ally of the NAACP Memphis Branch forwarded a photo of the September 2019 cover for Memphis Magazineto my cell phone," said Deidre Malone, President of the NAACP Memphis Branch.  "Upon review of this piece, all I can say is that I'm deeply upset and saddened that we must still contend with blatant racism, sexism, body shaming and an overall abysmal disrespect from some of our most trusted media outlets in this century and climate.

I would call on them to do better and be betterin order to set higher and more acceptable standards for the important profession of journalism.  I would also ask that they consider the underlying messages that they are sending about these individuals to the local community and to the nation.

A caricature by definition is a picture, description, or imitation of a person in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.  In this instance, the latter was chosen by Memphis Magazineand completely perverts the importance and sanctity of this upcoming race.

More to the point, I would ask that the imagery be analyzed in order to create an understanding of why this cover is offensive in the first place.  The current mayor appears bloated; the former mayor is shown throwing-up gang signs, which speaks to corruption, and the current county commissioner is depicted with no hands at all, which suggests that she is powerless.  She also is shown to be unattractive, overweight and the depiction of her hair reminds the African-American community, specifically women, of the years of intentional buffoonery and "darky iconography" that long plagued people of color in American advertising.

We don't need to let this slide as art or journalism; we need to let the leadership of Memphis Magazineknow that as a city we are not pleased with this offensive symbolism at all! Call them, email them, or just drop by their office on Tuesday morning to let them know you're displeased with this cover."

About the NAACP:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation's oldest civil rights organization, and the Memphis Branch is the largest branch of the organization in the United States.

Latrivia Welch
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Location:Memphis - Tennessee - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Aug 31, 2019
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