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300tube MelinaPendulum   12 February, 2016
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TOKENS: THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY | BHM VIDEO #2

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A token defined by the dictionary in it’s adjective form means: done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture.

In media the token minority character shares the same function, it is a symbolic gesture to audience that says “hey—look, we are diverse!” The gay best friend, the sassy black friend, the spicy Latina, all of these are the stereotypes that have come out of this desire to produce quick and easy representations of a particular race though only one character in a cast of usually five or four. If we even get that.

This is why there is always so much protection and concern over the sole non-white characters in a narrative—because they have been put in the position to be an avatar for the entire group and while the writers may not be racist or bigots intentionally, their decisions to slight, reduce or just generally ignore those characters bring on extra labels of frustration because they are all we have. Not to mention since there are usually always several white equivalent characters on the show, we are constantly aware that they can do better.

In this video I want to go through different types of Token black characters going through what I think separates good tokens from the bad ones and just the really ugly ones. I will be speaking from a black perspective, but I’d really like to hear from others on their opinions of good, bad and ugly token characters that represent them. 

I am also only talking about characters from shows that I watch so I’m not talking out of my ass.

Song: Formation by Beyonce |
I own nothing but my hot pepper sauce and my opinions.

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