Stereotypes In Master Of None

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The Thanksgiving episode in the series Master of None portrays intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and class as the main character, Denise, seeks acceptance from her mother and herself as a homosexual black woman. The episode takes place over approximately twenty years during various Thanksgivings as Denise grows into her sexuality. The episode provides a true to life experience as it was largely written by the actress, Lena Waithe, who plays the role of Denise; however, the downfall of the episode is the use and perpetuation of Black and Latinx stereotypes, seen through the characterization of Denise’s girlfriend, Nikki, and of Denise’s family.
When Denise is a young girl asks her mother what a minority is, she responds, “It’s a group
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For example, when Denise as a teenager comes out to her friend, she states that “some black people think being gay’s a choice. And when they find out that their kid is gay, they try to figure out what they did wrong”. Catherine internalizes the pressure as a black, lower class, single mother to consent to hegemony, and through this, she outwardly disapproves of her daughter being gay because it makes her feel as though she failed to raise her daughter properly. Similarly, Catherine internalizes racial stereotypes and projects them onto Denise through her stating that she should have played basketball. Her statement, “a basketball scholarship would’ve come in real handy right now. But, I’m just glad you in college and you ain’t pregnant and on drugs”, shows how Catherine believes the limitations society places on black people. Baldwin in “A Letter to My Nephew” emphasizes that his nephew should not believe the inferiority society places on black people (8). Catherine contrasts with Baldwin’s sentiment as she accepts the limitations attached to blackness and is therefore grateful that Denise is not pregnant or on drugs since she as a lower class black woman is expected to
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