African American Women Analysis

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Today, television is one of the main sources of media that depicts the way that African American women are represented. Television is one way African American women are negatively stereotyped. There are many stereotypes of black women found on television such as, mammy, jezebels, ghetto, gold diggers, and home wreckers. These representations not only make African American women look bad, but it also sets the wrong example for the next generation. Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, from Scandal is the perfect example for this phenomenon. Television not only misrepresents black women, but it also plays a role in the way society views black women. There are two theories that are useful in explaining the phenomenon, feminist theory and…show more content…
Washington’s character is the perfect example of the way black women are being misrepresented. Olivia Pope is one African American woman who’s beautiful, confident, and very much successful. She is the type of character that some black women look up to, but she also sets a negative image.She gives these negative images by sleeping with a married Caucasian man, who happens to be the President of the United States. Because most Scandal viewers are Caucasian, her negative image outweighs her positive image. By playing this role, Olivia is being portrayed as being the other women, or as people would say today the “side chick”. This gives the people that are watching the feeling that it’s alright to be the other woman, when it’s not. Not only does Scandal portray negative images for black women, but it also creates racial stereotypes. This is because when an African American woman is given a TV role, it is never just positive.By Olivia engaging in an affair with a Caucasian man, it brings us back to slavery when white men could have black women whenever they want. Even though the character “Olivia Pope” contributes to the negative stereotypes, African American women have been dealing with being misrepresented for many years now. As of today, black women are sometimes only popular or important when it comes to music videos or reality…show more content…
This is because “Jezebel” is referred to as an African American woman who is sexually aggressive. As mentioned earlier Olivia Pope is having an affair with a married man, not only is she having an affair with him, she is also having sexual intercourse with another man. The character “Olivia Pope”, is the perfect example of how the controlling images Collins discussed are sticking with the African American woman. These controlling images are not so much representing black women, but they are creating an unpleasant look for African American women. Another theory that would be useful in explaining this particular phenomenon would be postmodernism. With explaining this particular topic, Jean Baudrillard discussed hyper reality. Hyper reality is the representation of reality. Basically, hyper reality is a mixture of what is real and what is not, which means there is no clear way of separating the real from what is not real. Baudrillard argues that hyper reality does not have a positive impact on society. He argues this particular point because material that is not meant to be real may be confused with being

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