Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood
143 pages
English

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143 pages
English

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Description

An investigation of the stereotyping of Black womanhood.


"Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood" investigates the typecasting of Black womanhood and the larger sociological impact on Black women’s self-perceptions. It details the historical and contemporary use of stereotypes against Black women and how these women work to challenge and dispel false perceptions. The book highlights the role of racist ideas in the reproduction and promotion of stereotypes of Black femaleness in media, literature, artificial intelligence and the perceptions of the general public. Contributors in this collection identify the racist and sexist ideologies behind the misperceptions of Black womanhood and illuminate twenty-first–century stereotypical treatment of Black women such as Michelle Obama and Serena Williams, and explore topics such as comedic expressions of Black motherhood, representations of Black women in television dramas and literature, and identity reclamation and self-determination. "Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood" establishes the criteria with which to examine the role of stereotypes in the lives of Black women and, more specifically, its impact on their social and psychological well-being.


List of Tables and Figures; Acknowledgements; Introduction, Marquita Gammage; Part I: Historical Conceptualizations; Historical Miseducation on Black Womanhood, Donnetrice Allison; Part II: Motherhood and Mother-Right under Question; The Virility of the Haitian Womb: The Biggest Threat to the Dominican Right, Daly Guilamo; “Black Women Are Genius!”: The Image of Celebrated Black Motherhood in Stand-Up Comedy?, Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers; Self-Perceptions and Strategies of Self-Determination among Black Women Student Parents on Campus, Sureshi M. Jayawardene and Serie McDougal III; Part III: Media, Literature and Public Perceptions of Black Womanhood; Exploring Contemporary Stereotypes of Black Womanhood in Claudia Rankine’s ‘Citizen: An American Lyric’, Raquel Kennon; Ladyhood in Distress: Black Politics in Nicole Sconiers’s ‘Escape from Beckyville’, Jalondra A. Davis; Representing the Black Woman as Immoral and Abandoning the Black Family: A Cultural Analysis of 21st Century Television Dramas Starring Black Women, Marquita Gammage; Part IV: Politics and Public Implications; Sapphires Gone Wild: The Politics of Black Women’s Respectability in the Age of the Ratchet, De Anna J. Reese and Delia C. Gillis; Michelle Obama Laughs: Political Meme Warfare and the Regurgitation of the Mythological Black Woman, Kiedra Taylor; Part V: Advocacy, Activism and Affirmation of Black Womanhood; Kawaida Womanism as an Interpretative Framework for Understanding Africana Womanhood: Analyzing African American Women’s Self-Perceptions, Marquita Gammage; List of Contributors; Index.

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Publié par
Date de parution 22 mars 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781783089390
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0100€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood
Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood
Media, Literature and Theory
Edited by
Marquita M. Gammage and Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers
Anthem Press
An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company
www.anthempress.com
This edition first published in UK and USA 2019
by ANTHEM PRESS
75–76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK
or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK
and
244 Madison Ave #116, New York, NY 10016, USA
© 2019 Marquita M. Gammage and Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers editorial matter and selection; individual chapters © individual contributors
The moral right of the authors has been asserted.
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above,
no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into
a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means
(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise),
without the prior written permission of both the copyright
owner and the above publisher of this book.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN-13: 978-1-78308-937-6 (Hbk)
ISBN-10: 1-78308-937-7 (Hbk)
This title is also available as an e-book.
CONTENTS
List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Marquita M. Gammage
Chapter 1. Black Student Mothers: A Culturally Relevant Exploratory Study
Sureshi M. Jayawardene and Serie McDougal III
Chapter 2. Uninhabitable Moments: The Symbol of Serena Williams, Rage and Rackets in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric
Raquel Kennon
Chapter 3. “Black Women Are Genius!”: The Image of Celebrated Black Motherhood in Stand-Up Comedy?
Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers
Chapter 4. The Virility of the Haitian Womb: The Biggest Threat to the Dominican Right
Daly Guilamo
Chapter 5. Ladyhood in Distress: Neoliberalism and Black Politics in Nicole Sconiers’s Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair, and Rage
Jalondra A. Davis
Chapter 6. Sapphires Gone Wild: The Politics of Black Women’s Respectability in the Age of the Ratchet
De Anna J. Reese and Delia C. Gillis
Chapter 7. Representing the Black Woman as Immoral and Abandoning the Black Family: A Cultural Analysis of Twenty-First-Century Television Dramas Starring Black Women
Marquita M. Gammage
Chapter 8. Historical Miseducation on Black Womanhood
Donnetrice C. Allison
Chapter 9. Michelle Obama Laughs: Political Meme Warfare and the Regurgitation of the Mythological Black Woman
Kiedra Taylor
Chapter 10. Kawaida Womanism as an Interpretative Framework for Understanding Africana Womanhood: Analyzing African American Women’s Self-Perceptions
Marquita M. Gammage
List of Contributors
Index
FIGURES
2.1 Caroline Wozniacki “imitates” Serena Williams by placing towels under her tennis shirt and skirt to create an image of larger breasts and buttocks. This exhibition match took place on December 7, 2012, in São Paulo, Brazil, where Wozniacki competed against Maria Sharapova. Credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images
2.2 Australian Open 2017 champion Serena Williams poses with her winning trophy. She later revealed she was eight weeks pregnant at this time. Credit: Getty Images
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I applaud the contributors of this book for their devotion and willingness to contribute to this important work. To the Africana/Black women activists, theorists and revolutionaries, thank you for being models of strength, perseverance and excellence. Appreciation must also be granted to the Africana women who have started new movements to address issues impacting their communities and their identities. Black Lives Matter , #blackgirlmagic, Black Girls Rock, #BlackWomenAtWork, #MeToo and many others, we salute you. I want to thank my family, Justin, Jalia and Justin Jr. for their unconditional support and understanding as this volume was being prepared.
Marquita M. Gammage
I would like to give thanks to the strongest energy source in the Universe, Love, for bringing me this far in my understanding and dedication to the Black woman and humanity as a whole. Thank you to the Feminine and Masculine Divine Principles for your encouragement and grace. To my husband, Dwayne Shavers, and my daughter, Nishala, thank you for your love and patience with me. Thank you, Elders and Ancestors, for pushing me to reach my full potential. And to all those who are putting love before pain, keep fighting, keep resisting. I see you and I value you.
Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers
INTRODUCTION
Marquita M. Gammage
Caricatures, memes , myths, stereotypes and flat-out lies have dominated the social perceptions of Black womanhood . Political figures, celebrities, television personalities and everyday average Black women have been victimized by the sociopolitical racist and sexist ideologies that control the discourse entrapping Black females. Black women’s respectability continues to suffer given theses systematic assaults, which has swelled into microaggressions , insults and blatant racism. Not one Black woman has been excluded from these vicious injustices, not even the former first lady of the United States. In 2009, Michelle Obama became the first African American first lady of the United States of America, yet her womanhood was unfailingly contested. Despite her many accolades, Michelle Obama was reduced to a slave-descended baby mama. News media, magazines, social media outlets and political commentators questioned the legitimacy of her serving as first lady from the time her husband, Barack Obama , first announced his candidacy for the presidency. This gross mistreatment of her right to serve as first lady illustrates the profound impact of racism, sexism and racial hatred on Black womanhood. Even still, like the millions of African foremothers that came before her, Michelle Obama proclaimed and affirmed her womanhood in her commitment to motherhood and service to others. Her dedication extended beyond her family, as she launched national campaigns focused on health and wellness. Michelle Obama’s womanhood embodied the core principles of African womanhood as she unapologetically embraced her African American heritage. Similar to Black women across the nation and world, self-definition and determination proved to be pivotal in the survival of Black womanhood amid egregious condemnation of their humanity.
The Mammy, Jezebel and Sapphire stereotypes have long been used to inform the world’s understanding of Black womanhood and continue to guide perceptions of Black women globally (Allison 2016 ; Gammage 2015 ). Although created in the nineteenth century, these racialized myths have endured for three centuries and have governed the treatment of Black womanhood in media, literature, theory, law and politics. As they transitioned into media and literature, Black women’s image was bound to these exploitative labels. Yet, despite these falsifications, Black women have continuously fought against racial and gender oppression for themselves and their communities. The need for Black women to define themselves and their realities resulted in the birth of several social and theoretical movements designed to address the pressing issues affecting Black women and their communities. Consider the Black women’s club movement of the late 1800s. This Black women’s social movement, like others that would follow, aimed to excavate the dignity and humanity of Black women while simultaneously working to eradicate civil and social injustices, such as lynchings. These movements sparked a wave of Black women theorists to develop ideologies that were more attuned to their cultural lives.
Over the past decades four leading theories, African womanism, Africana womanism , Black feminism and Kawaida womanism , have been used to provide a critical assessment of Africana womanhood from African/Black women’s perspectives. These theories have been used to deconstruct the long-standing racist and sexist ideologies governing the political, social, educational and economic treatment of African people. African womanism as articulated by Nah Dove (1998) encompasses an Afrocentric framework that is based in the history and culture of African women where their womanhood is central. Clenora Hudson-Weems ( 2004 ) defines Africana womanism as a practical theory aligned with the real-life realities of women of African descent for the upliftment of their communities. Africana womanism maps issues impacting the African people as a race first, then seeks to address issues of class, then gender oppression. The Africana womanist is both a self-namer and a self-definer. Drawing from cultural and historical foundations of classical African civilizations, Tiamoyo Karenga and Chimbuko Tembo ( 2012 ) ground Kawaida womanism in the highest spiritual, ethical and social principles of African people. Similar to African womanism and Africana womanism, Kawaida womanism prioritizes self-definition as a fundamental aspect of Black women’s existence and theoretical constructs. Finally, Black feminists such as Patricia Hill Collins ( 1991 ) and bell hooks ( 1981 ) position Black feminism as a departure from feminism and instead recognize the intersectionality of race, class and gender as inextricably linked. This three-pronged system of oppression against Black women was identified by Black feminists as a calculated attack on Black women and therefore necessarily garners a critical response to these interrelated injust

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