The topic I am choosing to do for my semester project is The Racism and Sexism towards African American women and how they are portrayed in media. My objective is to show the challenges that African American women face not only for the color of their skin but also for their gender as well. What inspired me to choose this topic was Melissa Harris-Perry; she is an African American writer and political commentator. She has a book called Sister-Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, and inside of it there is a chapter called Crooked Room where the author talks about how sexism and the stereotypes against black women due to their race and gender cause them to be portrayed negatively. The Crooked Room reading was very interesting to me; being an African American woman myself I could relate to what Melissa Harris-Perry was saying and much like her I do not care for the negative stereotypes that are placed on African American women and I also do not like that these stereotypes are used in media as a mockery of black women. I feel that it is an issue that is often overlooked; I am passionate about this particular subject so I figured this would make a good topic for my project.
The author Bell Hooks is another inspiration for my topic as well. I read parts of her book called “Ain’t I woman” and it gave me some insight on sexism, racism, and the devaluation of black women which will be beneficial to my project. My captive audience is women and men of all ethnicities. The form of media that I will be doing for this project will be a blog with embedded images that will describe my topic and also provide my criticism against the negative depiction of African American women in media because of racism and sexism.
“ESSENCE’s Images Study: Bonus Insights.” Essence.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. http://www.essence.com/2013/10/07/essence-images-study-bonus-insights/
Hooks, Bell. Ain’t I a woman: Black women and feminism. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1981. Print.
Muhammad, Charlene. “The Final Call.” Who defines Black Women?. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_8489.shtml
Perry, Melissa V.. “Crooked Room.” Sister citizen: shame, stereotypes, and Black women in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011. 28-35. Print.
Prince, Richard. “Black Women in Media: Gold Diggers, Jezebels and Baby Mamas?.” The Root. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. http://www.theroot.com/blogs/journalisms/2013/10/black_women_in_media_portrayed_as_gold_diggers_jezebels_and_baby_mamas.html
Tyree, Tia. “African American Stereotypes in Reality Television.” Howard Journal Of Communications 22.4 (2011): n. pag. Taylor Francis Online. Web. 11 Jan. 2013.