Burrell, a 45-year veteran of the advertising industry and an inductee of the Advertising Hall of Fame, explains that such images are too often the rule rather than the exception, and their genesis can be traced back 400 years to the days of slavery in America when the Black Inferiority/White Superiority brainwashing campaign began.
Burrell calls the marketing of the myth of Black Inferiority to justify slavery within a democracy “one of the greatest propaganda campaigns of all time.” In BRAINWASHED he shows how the torturous enslavement and indoctrination of a people resulted in the powerful, all-pervasive, mass-media driven brainwashing that impacts African American lives even today. The BI brainwashing campaign may be more subtle than in the past, given that a black First Family occupies the White House, but nonetheless, it exists.
The Brainwash Stops with You!
By Tom Burrell
With Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, I explore the damaging effects of centuries-long, negative media messaging and how some blacks today have subconsciously, consciously or unconsciously adopted and perpetrate buffoonish, demeaning, sexually explicit or violent characterizations of African Americans. We are bombarded with this negativity through hip-hop lyrics and videos, movies, television programs, comedy routines, “street lit” and other mediums that we control and programs we produce.
Along with this criticism, however, I acknowledge the resilience of black people and our inherent potential to creatively confront obstacles created for demise. It cannot be debated that young African-Americans gave us hip-hop — a multibillion-dollar industry that’s significant as jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, or rhythm & blues. What’s most noteworthy about this genre is that it began in backyards and subways, on street corners, beaches and nightclubs without anyone’s permission.
Likewise, an orchestrated “flip the script” community-based agenda can empower anyone and everyone who has an idea, talent, and the courage to become an agent of change.
In an effort to recruit what I call “evangelists for positive propaganda,” I established The Resolution Project in 2007, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating negative imagery and, through community-based new media campaigns, replace them with a bombardment of positive words and images. One of the Project’s first activities is the 1st Annual “Flip the Script…Stop the Brainwash,” worldwide competition. This endeavor has been developed to honor the best video, art, creative writing, poetry, music, or other media based campaign inspired by the book. Click on link