Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood

Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood

Media, Literature and Theory

Edited by Marquita M. Gammage & Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers

Anthem Africology Series

"Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood" investigates the stereotyping of Black womanhood and the larger sociological impact on Black women. The text details the historical and contemporary use of stereotypes against Black women and how Black women work to challenge and dispel false perceptions.

Hardback, 208 Pages


March 2019

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

"Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood" investigates the stereotyping 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 Black women work to challenge and dispel false perceptions, and 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 racists 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.

The five sections of the book provide a brief historical overall of the long-standing use of stereotypes used against Black women; explore the systematic attack on Black motherhood and how Black mothers use self-determination to thrive; investigate treatments of Black womanhood in media, television and literature; examine the political impact of stereotyped frameworks used for deconstructing Black female public figures; and discuss self-affirmation and identity reclamation among Africana women.

"Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood" establishes the criteria with which to examine the role of stereotypes in the lives of Black females and, more specifically, its impact on their social and psychological well-being.


Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood threads the various frameworks of Black and African(a) womanism, which provides the analyses with a unique perspective. The book makes one consider one’s own responsibility to women impacted by rape, domestic violence, and other forms of assault. —Siobhan E. Smith-Jones, University of Louisville; Women, Gender, and Families of Color Spring 2022, Vol. 10, No. 1 pp. 100–102

“A thought-provoking, African-centered examination of Black women’s efforts to reclaim their space, dignity, public image and right to self-determination against the backdrop of America’s racially charged social landscape. Brilliantly done!”
—Patricia Reid-Merritt, Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies and Social Work, Stockton University, USA

“'Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood' provides us with an important and useful work in which African women represent themselves and offer a wide range of perspectives and analytical initiatives in critical resistance to stereotypes and mythologies about Black women.”
—Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair, Department of Africana Studies, California State University-Long Beach, USA, and Author of Maat, the Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics

“This excellent collection of critical essays is a welcome and valuable contribution to an expanding theoretical and lived experience literature on African-centered womanism. It engages in a scholarly and sensitive manner the ongoing task of exposing and dispelling racist and sexist stereotypes, misconceptions and myths of Black women.”
—Tiamoyo Karenga, Lecturer in Kawaida Womanism and Women and Power in Ancient Egypt, Kawaida Institute of Pan African Studies, USA

Author Information

Marquita M. Gammage is associate professor in the Africana Studies Department at California State University, Northridge, USA. She was awarded the Best Scholarly Book Publication Award by the Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement in 2016.

Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers is assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University, USA. She has published scholarly articles focusing on the role of women in African traditional societies and controlling images attached to Black womanhood.


Anthem Africology Series

Table of Contents

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.


No Podcasts for this title.
Comodo SSL