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Raising the profile of racial stereotypes in image banks: the persistence of Jezebel, Mammy and Sapphire colonial patterns for black women


KeywordsTriple Keywords
Pictorial representations
Concept formation
Aggressiveness (Psychology)
Aggressive behavior
Aggression (Psychology)
Political representation
Representative government and representation
Parliamentary government


In this work, an exploratory study of image banks, specifically Getty Images and Shutterstock, is carried out, analysing whether the processes of tapping such search devices reveal algorithmic ways of reproducing colonial mentalities in relation to black women. On the basis of the concept of ‘control images’ of Patricia Hill Collins, Jezebel, Mammy and Sapphire were analysed here, on the basis that these stereotypes of black female subjectivity reinforce narratives of subordination, exploitation and animalisation, the coloniality service. Although the results have specificities, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been realised that algorithmic coloniality is evident in these banks, which more often label black women’s images to colonial patterns of sexuality, work and aggression.

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