Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject American Studies -
Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, LMU Munich
(Amerika-Institut), course: Trust No One? Conspiracy Theories in
American Political Culture, language: English, abstract:
African-American conspiracies are very unusual in comparison to
other conspiracies. African-American conspiracy theories are unlike
'classical' conspiracy theories, which one could describe as
bewilderingly real or even regard as fact. There are no written
documents in existence, no elaborate theories on black
conspiracies, hence there are no serious conspiracy theorists
working in this conspiracy-niche. African-American conspiracies
could be seen as plain rumors and gossip. Those rumors are easily
spread within black communities and the most popular ones manage it
to circulate those communities for years and eventually become
legends. If one asked a member of a particular community for any
further details concerning a specific theory, nobody would be able
to explain or qualify them, as it is the case with rumors. One
could even claim that there is no such thing as African-American
conspiracy theory, because mostly there is only gossip and rumor
about conspiracies, which is spread in public and private places.
Those gossips and rumors are told, heard and retold in schools,
bars, groceries, prisons, senior citizen centers, beauty salons, on
parties and miscellaneous places, which eventually leads to a
whisper down the lane effect. The book I Heard It Through The
Grapevine by Patricia A. Turner, a study on African-American
conspiracies, explains this effect very well and already implicates
this usual and more or less natural process within its title.
African-American rumors are mostly "unverified orally transmitted
stories circulating in African-American communities" and their
topics are "not in-group discord, but rather conflict between the
races" (Turner 1). There is actually an existence of strong
conspiratorial motifs and mot
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