The Angry Black Woman

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I am deeply interested in why Black women are received and portrayed as both “angry” and “strong” Black Women. It may seem inexplicable that a respected black woman educator would stamp her foot, jab her finger in someone’s face and scream while trying to make a point on national television, thereby reconfirming the notation that black women are irrationally angry. When confronted about race and gender, as a black woman I stand in a crooked room. I have to figure out which way is up. Bombarded with warping images of humanity, I sometimes tilt and bend to fit the distortion. From the single mother who complains about child support to the first lady of the United States, it seems like Black women of all ages and classes have been accused of either being “angry” or too “strong” at some point in life. For centuries, the angry black female has been a pervasive stereotype in the United States. You may have heard the term “Angry Black Woman Syndrome (ABSW)”. Angry Black Woman Syndrome is not only the dynamics between black woman and black men. It is definitively not an official clinical diagnosis or anything. The attitudes behavior of some black women, by some can best be described as a word that starts with “b” and rhymes with the word “itch”. Angry Black Woman is just as inescapable today as it was during the slave era. Melissa Harris-Perry, suggests that anger is still one of the most ubiquitous stereotypes faced by black women in modern society. In a recent Super Bowl commercial, Pepsi was criticized for perpetuating this negative perception by depicting a black woman kicking, shoving and punishing her husband for cheating on his diet. America’s first lady had to address the stereotype: In a recent television interview on CBS, Michelle Obama denied the “angry black woman” depiction of herself that emerged in some coverage following the release of The Obama’s, a book by Jodi Kantor. Mrs. Obama defended herself by saying instead that she is “merely a...
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