“Black people are not dark-skinned white people,” according to Tom Burrell.”Too often Blacks and whites live in different worlds,” he explained. “My point is that Black Americans, because of our heritage and history, have a unique culture that could best be reached through strategies, words and images subtly or overtly related to those historical and cultural factors.”
The Brainwashed author spoke at Grambling on Wednesday to share his story. As an advertising visionary, Burrell knew he had a bright future at a young age. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Burrell knew he had a purpose.
After taking an aptitude test in high school, Burrell proved to be an independent spirit, creative and full of courage. With those characteristics, he eventually became chairman and chief executive officer of Burrell Communications.
Despite being unsure of his own abilities, Burrell worked his way up from the mailroom to the head office. He also pioneered an advertising philosophy that acknowledged the economic power of youth and communities of color.
In Brainwashed, Burrell gives 10 questions that make Blacks think and asks why so many Blacks still think and act like slaves.
Burrell shared a video to show that not all men are created equal. The video went into depth about slaves and how Blacks are currently enslaving themselves. Black inferiority was connected to subjects such as hip-hop, movies and television, Burrell said.
“Why are we at the top of the bad list by any standards and at the bottom of the good lists,” he asked.
Black skin, at one point, was considered a disease. ‘Niggerology’ was a popular term in the past. “It was in America that physically and psychologically, as subhuman beasts of burden,” said Burrell.
“It was here that we were first indoctrinated with the idea that we were, in fact, not humans at all, but property.”
Burrell explained that Blacks were told that they were inferior and then played into it.
“Propaganda is the outer layer of this brainwashing onion,” he said.
“In the marketing world, propaganda is the first tool of persuasion. Brainwashing is the outcome, but propaganda got us here, and its continued use keeps the inferior/superior mind game in play.