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Melissa Harris-Perry: Confronting Stereotypes of the Black Woman


Portrait via Flickr (cc) user Good_1

Since the days of slavery, the African-American woman has been subjected to stereotypes: the mammy, the angry black female and the hyper-sexual woman . These stereotypes continue to this day and permeate thru pop culture.

On this edition, author and political science professor Melissa Harris-Perry speaks about the stereotypes black women face, its impacts on their identity and how it has limited the ways in which society views them as true “citizens.”


Melissa Harris-Perry, professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She is also the author of  Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. She is a columnist for The Nation magazine and a contributor to MSNBC, and other media outlets. This discussion was moderated by Blanche Richardson, heads the 40-year-old Marcus Book Stores in San Francisco and Oakland, California and editor, author and anthologist.

Special Thanks to KPFA for the audio.


Blackface Montage from Spike Lee’s Bamboozled

Melissa Harris-Lacewell Keynote at Facing Race 2010

For More Information:

Marcus Books
Melissa Harris-Perry
Melissa Harris- Perry’s Columns in The Nation
Black Face, a history
The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)
National Association of Colored Women (NACW)


Embracing Sisterhood: Class, Identity, and Contemporary Black Women by Katrina Bell McDonald 
Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa Harris-Perry
R.N. Bradley’s Book Review of Citizen Abstained?: Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry
Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
‘She’s Ghetto’: Stereotypes Black Women Internalize by Bene Viera
“How Spike Lee’s ‘Bamboozled’ challenges Hollywood’s portrayal of black people on screen” by Megan Fox

Author: Kwan

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  1. Excellent show-caught it driving and was compelled to pull over and sit in my car to listen to it in its entirety. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Although I could listen to the 1 minute intro, etc. to Melissa Harris-Perry’s mp3, I was unable to listen to any of the actual tape. Since I could listen to the 1 minute intro, it must be something other than my computer, my software, etc. If there is any way for you to email me an mp3 that you TEST first, ( I would be dissapointed if the same thing happens with another mp3, file, etc.,) please let me know. btodish! Also has ANYONE else had similar problems when trying to access this mp3?

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