Last week we began our look at white supremacy and her off springs, slavery and colonization, and the adverse effects they have had on peoples of color. This week we will focus on the media and how it has affected the general perception of people of color. But more importantly how it has, over time, influenced the way blacks view themselves and consequently each other. Today we will examine how the media’s negative portrayal of black women has impacted them
Black Women Stigmatized In The Media
Essence (A Black Women’s) Magazine did a study in 2013 which revealed that negative stereotypes of black women in the media prevails. According to Essence, in that study which was done with more than 1,200 respondents, the overwhelming view was that: “…the images on TV, in social media, in music videos and from other outlets are overwhelmingly negative and fall into categories that make us cringe — Gold Diggers; Modern Jezebels; Baby Mamas; Uneducated Sisters; Ratchet Women; Angry Black Women; Mean Black Girls; Unhealthy Black Women; and Black Barbies.”
While the survey’s findings that, ‘White women cited negative typologies as most representative of Black women they’ve encountered in real life…’ is not surprising. What is rather revealing is what the survey revealed regarding young black females. The study continues: ‘ Younger women — ages 18-29 — were more likely than older women to be aware of negative typologies and also more likely to find them compelling (admirable).’ The reason being, these young women are more exposed to media (especially social media) and therefore their perceptions are more likely to be influenced by these negative stereotypical images.
How Black Men View Black Women
The media, it seems, has also negatively impacted upon the dating preferences of black men. Christian Rudder the founder of OKCupid, a dating site with more than thirty million users, has published a new book: ‘Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)’. In the book Christian looks at various statistics about individuals and their dating preferences. One of the subjects covered is the racial preferences of the members of the site. What is shocking about the data is that not only are black women by far the most negatively viewed by other ethnic grouping, but also by black men of every socio-economic sector as well, as the graph on the left reveals.
When asked if OkCupid’s members may be racist, he answers: ‘No. I mean, not any more than anywhere else. All the dating data I’ve seen fits OkCupid’s pattern: black people and Asian men get short shrift.’ And may I add, in particular black women. It’s time to change the story.
Men Who Adore Black Women
There are however, an increasing number of black men who are truly appreciating the black woman.
Pharrell Williams told Ebony:
“My wife is half Black; her mama is Black. What more do you want? I love Black women. If you don’t think I love Black women, then you don’t understand me.
I have obsessed over Black women since the days of Jayne Kennedy, Beverly Peele and Roshumba Williams. Those were the women I daydreamed about growing up.”
President Barack Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner speaking of black women said:
“I want them to know how much we appreciate them, how much we admire them, how much we love them.”
As more and more black men begin to realize that they have been programmed to view the black woman negatively, she will be elevated to the place she deserves.
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