Produced by ATTN:, a social change news and media company, this one-minute video highlights negative and stereotypical representations of Black or African American women frequently seen in the media. Stereotypes discussed include the “Baby Mama,” the “Angry Black Woman,” Black women as “gold diggers,” uneducated or unrefined, and as “hoes.” In addition to a series of media clips showing examples of these stereotypes from various television shows and movies, prominent Black and African American women are shown speaking about the impact of these stereotypes. For example, First Lady Michelle Obama describes how the media have portrayed her as the “Angry Black Woman” stereotype since Barack Obama announced he was running for president. Between these clips, statistics are also featured on screen, including, “Only 41% of Black women see themselves depicted as beauties,” and “Negative images of Black women appear twice as frequently as positive ones.” This video aims to bring attention to these issues as well as discuss #blackgirlmagic, which became a hashtag trending in January-March of 2016. This hashtag is used to “illustrate the universal awesomeness of black women. It’s about celebrating anything we deem particularly dope, inspiring or mind-blowing about ourselves” and serves as a rallying point in support of women that are speaking back against these established stereotypes. This hashtag has spread, and many people have posted relevant photos and messages using the hashtag on several different social media sites.
Think about the stereotypes that are being discussed in the video. How do this video and the blackgirlmagic hashtag challenge these stereotypes? Do you think they are effective? How?
How do stereotypes portrayed in the media misrepresent groups of people? Why does this matter? How does it impact how we see ourselves and how we interact with others?
What other stereotypes do you see repeated and presented in media associated with other racial or gender groups? Have you ever misjudged someone, even if unintentionally, due to stereotypes frequently represented in media? How did it affect your behavior and first impression? What happened? How often does this happen?
Have you ever experienced an interaction in which you realized you were being asked something because of a stereotype about a group you belong to or were perceived as belonging to? What happened? How often does it happen? How did it make you feel? How has it impacted your behavior?
Where do stereotypes come from? Who continues to replicate and reinforce them?