The Tragic Mulatto is a stereotype that ages back to the 19th century. It focuses on women that were mixed (half black half white). It depicted the women as sexually attractive and obsessed with living life as a White person. The stereotype suggest that the mixed race person would have a hard time identifying themselves as partially Black or would not want to. It also suggest that they would try to live their lives as a White person and would look down on those that weren’t White.
A good example of the Tragic Mulatto is the 1959 film, “Imitation of Life”. Sarah Jane, played by Susan Kohner, denied her Black identity in the film. She would ignore her mother in public, look down on others that were Black, and had group of White friends. Her mother, Annie Johnson, played by Juanita Moore, tried to love her daughter to the fullest extent while she refused to accept her identity. Towards the end of the movie, Annie dies and Susan then realizes how rude she was to her mother and possibly why it is important to embrace her identity.