For Women’s History Month: Deconstructing the Myths, Reconstructing the Stories of Black Women’s Experience
March 2, 2015
So, it’s no secret that Women of Color in general, and Black women specifically, have been historically underrepresented and misrepresented in the media through harmful archetypes like the “Jezebel,” “Tragic Mulatto,” “Mammie,” “Welfare Queen” and the “Angry Black Woman.” The prevalence of these characters in the media have misinformed society about the experiences and personalities of Black women as a whole. Although this subject is one of my favorite to hop on my soapbox over, there are literally dozens of articles and books on this topic that I encourage everyone to read (at least one) to get a deeper understanding of society and the media served to shape and skew the representation of Black women in certain parts of the world. (see book suggestions below)
For this article in honor of Women’s History Month, I will highlight a few powerful women of color gracefully deconstructing the very foundation in which those toxic archetypes of Black women have been built upon, through their visibility and work throughout the media.
MadameNoire: Deconstructing the idea that the handful of Black women-specific mainstream magazines and websites balance the hundreds that cater to the “general public/American woman” (which can be read as code for white women of a certain size, class and income). Reconstructing the idea that women of color want to read articles and news specifically about ourselves, our lives, and celebrities from our communities.