Media tends to portray black women negatively, Essence study says

Essence | The Washington Post | Maynard Institute

By and large, black women are portrayed negatively in media, respondents to a survey told Essence.

The study gave names to stereotypes respondents say they saw repeatedly, including "Baby Mamas," "Gold Diggers," "Angry Black Women" and "Black Barbies." Positive images weren't seen as much, the magazine reports.

The magazine actually proposes a fix, Krissah Thompson writes in The Washington Post:

The solution is to uplift images in the “invisible middle.” Those include figures such as, “the acculturated girl next door,” “community heroines,” “young phenoms” and “modern matriarchs.”

"Community Heroines" were the archetype respondents said they saw least. Also disturbing, younger women "were more likely than older women to be aware of negative typologies and also more likely to find them compelling."

"This may be because younger generations consume more media overall, especially digital media, where many of the negative types run rampant," Dawnie Walton writes.


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