When we first heard that NBA superstar LeBron James would be the third man to grace the cover of Vogue magazine it appeared to be a good thing. That is until everyone saw the cover image that dredged up stereotypes that Black people have tried for centuries to overcome.
Joined on the cover by Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, James is shown with a basketball in one hand and the dreaded “White woman” in the other – much like the image in the “King Kong.” For a moment forget about the “animalistic image,” just think that images like these were used to hang, kill and dismembers generations of Black men. Although times have changed, racism is very prevalent and quite real. For more proof, check out some comments from others in the blogsphere:
Over at Jezebel: LeBron “seems to be embodying ugly stereotypes about black men: The wild, savage, white-woman-obsessed beast.”
Feministe also chimed saying: “I see a scary animalistic black man, a primal scream, and a beautiful white woman. Google image King Kong for a comparison.”
As a Black man, the image does not particularly throw me out of whack, but I understand and get that people would be worked up into a lather. Many older Blacks will say that James doesn’t understand the vile, hateful situations that they had to endure. Many younger African-Americans will say that James is just having fun and its just an image. No matter what, everyone brings some “ism” to the table that if revealed could reveal their true character. We all wear the “mask” to hide our true feelings but sometimes a picture could reveal who we REALLY are.
Are you offended by James’ Vogue magazine cover or do you think that the image is innocent and James is just having fun?