Badges of Inferiority

The Racialization of Achievement in U.S. Education

Authored by: Sonya Douglass Horsford , Tanetha J. Grosland

Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415899956
eBook ISBN: 9780203155721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136581410


 Download Chapter



In his 2010 book Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, marketing communications pioneer Tom Burrell argues that, in America, the wholesale marketing and branding campaign of blacks as subhuman not only has reinforced white superiority and black inferiority to justify slavery within a democracy, but also perpetually “weakens the impulse to understand or help those still scorched at the bottom of America’s melting pot” (p. 4). From colonial times and reconstruction well into the Civil Rights era and twenty-first century, this marketing campaign has functioned as a “tsunami of words and images that promote an image of black inferiority” and echoes W.E.B. Du Bois’s (1903/1989) observation that, “In propaganda against the Negro since emancipation in this land, we face one of the most stupendous efforts the world ever saw to discredit human beings.” He noted that this effort included the participation of universities, spanning “history, science, social life, and religion.”

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.