Offensive Racial Images Used for Marketing

From watermelon eaters to monkeys, black folk have been at the center of offensive products and exploitative advertising campaigns for decades.

Nicole L. Cvetnic/The Root
Nicole L. Cvetnic/The Root

There is a history of national and international businesses and corporations using black stereotypes for the sake of product marketing. Here is a look at just a few examples that we found from around the world. Some of these are still on shelves today.

Watermelon Soda

This product was available in New York-area Target stores in 2009 and featured a black girl eating a watermelon. Target quickly removed the product.

Darkie Toothpaste

This Chinese product was sold until 1985. Colgate bought the company in 1984 and changed the name to “Darlie.”

Nigger Head Oysters

In August 1955, the Aughinbaugh Canning Co. of Mississippi renamed its Nigger Head Brand oysters Negro Head Brand after repeated pressure from the NAACP.