McNair Scholars Research Journal


This qualitative study will explore the impact of the way that “Blackness” is constructed and commodified for consumption within a White supremacist culture, and examine the effects of this construct on the Black community. According to Leonard and King (2012), in their book Commodified and Criminalized: New Racism and African Americans in Contemporary Sports, “The process of commodification is not simply about selling an essentialized Black culture, but rather a particular construction of Blackness that has proven beneficial to White[s]” (p. 10). This paper will discuss some of the twenty-first century consequences of this phenomenon. The methodology will be conducted through a literature review and a content analysis of various cultural texts including films, interviews, and art that depict Blackness. My belief is that the popular consumption of commodified Black images is related to the maintenance of White supremacy, and thus the systemic oppression of Blacks in the United States.