Ronald L. Jackson II is Professor of Media and Cinema Studies, as well as Professor and Head of African American Studies, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the editor of African American Communication and Identities: Essential Readings.
How Black women in the spotlight negotiate the post-racial gaze of Hollywood and beyond
From Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Shonda Rhimes to their audiences and the industry workers behind the scenes, Ralina L. Joseph considers the way that Black women are required to walk a tightrope. Do they call out racism only to face accusations of being called “racists”? Or respond to racism in code only to face accusations of selling out? Postracial Resistance explores how African American women celebrities, cultural producers, and audiences employ postracial discourse—the notion that race and race-based discrimination are over and no longer affect people’s everyday lives—to refute postracialism itself. In a world where they’re often written off as stereotypical “Angry Black Women,” Joseph offers that some Black women in media use “strategic ambiguity,” deploying the failures of post-racial discourse to name racism and thus resist it.
In Postracial Resistance, Joseph listens to and observes Black women as they perform and negotiate race in strategic ambiguity. Using three methods of media analysis—textual readings of the media's representation of these women; interviews with writers, producers, and studio executives; and audience ethnographies of young women viewers—Joseph maps the tensions and strategies that all Black women must engage to challenge the racialized sexism of everyday life, on- and off-screen.
^IBrown and Black Communication^R challenges those who do not think that significant projects and key research have been conducted on the two largest ethnic communities in the United States. Of certain appeal to both scholars and those with more applied needs in media, education, and public policy, this challenging collection offers a range of perspectives on two widely diverse bodies of American people.
The book provides a rich and thorough overview of Tyler Perry’s media works. In so doing, contributors represent and approach their analyses of Perry’s work from a variety of theoretical and methodological angles. The main themes explored in the volume include the representation of (a) Black authenticity and cultural production, (b) class, religion, and spirituality, (c) gender and sexuality, and (d) Black love, romance, and family. Perry’s critical acclaim is also explored.