The Darker Side of Valentine's Day: Northwestern U. Professor Explores Racist Greeting Cards

Northwestern U. Professor Explores Racist Valentine's Day Greeting Cards 1

Valentine's Day cards from the early 20th century that featured stereotypical images of black people were almost always written in a corrupted version of English, as shown here.

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Valentine's Day cards from the early 20th century that featured stereotypical images of black people were almost always written in a corrupted version of English, as shown here.

Every year when Valentine's Day comes around, there's a spate of news articles or blog rants criticizing the holiday for being a shameless commercial ploy to get people to go out and buy pink and red junk: heart-shaped balloons, indulgent sweets, gigantic stuffed animals, and cards with flattering poetry.

Harvey Young, an associate professor of African-American studies and performance at Northwestern University, is not a Valentine's Day hater. This morning his wife will receive a