It was and still is quite common to see non-whites depicted as dumb, evil, lazy, poor, cannibalistic, uncivilized and un-Christian savages with stuff sticking through their noses. Or as odd-looking servants, comical figures, dimwitted people scared of ghosts (and turning white out of fear). As overly joyous fools or overly sexual deviants, bare breasted, heavily hung or with fat buttocks. Such representations serve to signal, confirm and spread the conviction that blacks are inferior. This conviction in turn justifies all sorts of discrimination.
Very common is the caricature of funny looking big-lipped black folk:
The big lip stereotype is of course closely connected to the monkey stereotype:
And a monkey isn’t really that much different from a savage:
The text reads: “Just leave that cigar with me! Leave, go of it, you chimpanzee”. Most racial prejudices are present in this one: the big yellow eyes, big lips, funny hair, savage customs (cannibalism), leopard skin dress, beads etc. Surprisingly, the savages did manage to produce a professional looking banner announcing the banquet.
And just to show you that we’re not talking about ancient history:
(I think the original non-photoshopped image is actually of a South American Amazonian Indian, by the way)
The savage nature of blacks wasn’t believed to be limited to their jungle life and cannibalism. Often they were also depicted as being fond of bestiality:
It’s not just male blacks who are deemed to be sexually deviant. There’s also the stereotype of the oversexualized black female. Typical is the so-called Jezebel stereotype. The Jezebel, named after the Bible figure, is a loose woman who wants sex all of the time. Of course, the usual racist stereotypes are also included: big lips, funny hair…:
Apart from the Jezebel stereotype, there’s also the Sapphire and the Mammy stereotype, both quite common. A Sapphire is an overbearing woman who, often holding her hands on her hips and talking all the time, bullies her man:
The Mammy figure (also called the “Aunt Jemima stereotype”) is a domestic servant, good-natured, overweight, loud and a good cook, invariably wearing a headscarf:
Male blacks as well were often depicted as servants:
“Rastus,” the Cream of Wheat Cook, created in 1893 as a likable image to help sell packages of “breakfast porridge.” Rastus is marketed as a symbol of wholeness and stability. The toothy, well-dressed Black chef happily serves breakfast to a nation. The language that he uses is typically “simple”.
And then there’s the strange watermelon stereotype. The origin of the link between blacks and watermelons is unclear. Maybe it has something to do with slaves stealing food from the field:
Whatever the origin, the stereotype does serve to make them look stupid and childlike. And, of course, there’s the black athlete, again highly animalized:
Other collections of racist images are here, here, here, here, here and here. The whole series of human rights images is here.