Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

David Ponton III, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amy Rust, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kersuze Simeon-Jones, Ph.D.


Anti-blackness, Black Imago, Double Consciousness, Horror, Libindal Economy, Social Death


Since its inception during the transatlantic slave trade, blackness within the collective unconscious of Western society has been sutured to negative stereotypes, images, and feelings. In modern discourse on race and racism, the unconscious manifestations of anti-black racism adopted from cultural impositions, the impact of enslavement and colonization on the psyche of the subjugated, and the importance of the mind in revolutionary efforts are all too often undertheorized. Through an Afropessimist framework, this thesis uncovers the origination of the black imago in Western society, how and why it is habitually recreated, and how black theorists, artists, political activists, and others have sought to challenge and destroy its authority. The research then shifts toward an analysis of the film Get Out to further demonstrate how stereotypical images, feelings, and attitudes regarding blackness formed during and as an excuse for slavery are cathartic for civil society and are challenged and even involuntarily reproduced by black creatives.