Sister Citizen

Sister Citizen

Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

Book - 2011
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Jezebel's sexual lasciviousness, Mammy's devotion, and Sapphire's outspoken anger -- these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized. In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women's political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen instead explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2011
ISBN: 9780300165418
9780300188189
Branch Call Number: 305.48896 H2431s 2011
Characteristics: xiv, 378 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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oldhag Mar 29, 2012

"African American women perceive and describe themselves as strong, beautiful, independent, and kind self-definitions that are both positive and powerful". I wonder. In much of my reading, the adjective "kind" seems over-subscribed by African American women. It's as if, with acts of kindness missing from our lives to a notable extent, we push it to the forefront of public discourse to underscore its absence. A cri de coeur?

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