ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: black

Jezebels, Mammies, and the Dehumanization of Black Women

Popular culture informs much of our understanding of the world and the people around us. For better or for worse, we rely on stereotypes—created from both personal experience and depictions in media—to interact with society. This power can often be used for good by introducing majoritarian individuals to the experiences and existence of marginalized people. Too often, however, popular culture’s influence only serves to perpetuate racist, bigoted stereotypes about marginalized people. This is especially true in how Black women are depicted in the media. From movies to tv shows, music videos to theatre, depictions of Black women tend to fall into one of two categories. The first, the hypersexualized jezebel, can be seen in portrayals of the sexually active, sassy Black woman often used as a foil to a more… Read more »

Don’t Be Afraid of Checking Yourself. We Have to do Better.

Earlier today, it was reported that openly gay and black actor Jussie Smollett was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago that left him hospitalized but in stable condition. A horrific act of violence like this not too long after comedian Kevin Hart refused several times to apologize for his homophobic remarks in the past isn’t surprising in this country. Homophobia and racism are rampant, and people found in the intersection like Smollett are particularly vulnerable. And as news reports were quick to call it a “possible” hate crime, referring to it mostly as “racially charged”, a phrase which almost always simply means racist, I can’t help but marvel at the aversion the media has at referring to a person as a racist. It’s as if they fear the word… Read more »