Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman
Publication Year: 2012
Angela Davis, Pam Grier, Alice Walker, Michelle Obama. Revolutionary black women have evoked strong reaction throughout American history. Magazines, political campaigns, music, television, and movies have relied upon deep-seated archetypes and habitually cast strong, countercultural black women as mammies and sexual objects. In Iconic Lakesia Johnson explores how this belittling imagery is imposed by American media, revealing an immense cultural fear of black women's power and potential.
But the media does not have the last word. Johnson chronicles how strong black women—truly revolutionary black women—have nonetheless taken control of their own imaging despite consistent negative characterizations. Through their speech, demeanor, fashion, and social relationships, women from Sojourner Truth to Michelle Obama have counteracted these depictions. With ingenuity, fortitude, and focus on the greater good, these revolutionary women transformed the cultural images of themselves and, simultaneously, those of American black women as a whole.
Seamlessly weaving together role models of past and present, from women in politics to artists and musicians, Johnson eloquently demonstrates how the revolutionary black woman in many public forums has been—and continues to be—a central figure in challenging long-standing social injustices.
For more, including photographs, videos, news, and author appearances, visit RevoutionaryBlackWomen.com.
Published by: Baylor University Press
Download PDF (6.7 MB)
Half Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Download PDF (125.2 KB)
Download PDF (86.7 KB)
Download PDF (44.0 KB)
Hatten, for always believing that I could do great things, even cess of your children. I’d also like to thank my many friends and and guidance. This book couldn’t have happened without you. I of my manuscript and being the best colleagues, sistah-friends, and writing buddies that a girl could ask for. I also want to thank ...
1. The Myth of the Angry Black Woman: From Sojourner Truth to Michelle Obama
Download PDF (224.1 KB)
On October 8, 2008, Larry King interviewed Mrs. Michelle Obama. not get angry about the back and forth that happens in politics. King’s persistent probing implied the question that most African in his article “Larry King Kept Asking Michelle Obama: ‘Attack Dog’ Palin Doesn’t Make You Mad?” and noted that King posed ...
2. Revolutionary Black Women in The News: The Politics of Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver
Download PDF (2.7 MB)
Anger. Afro. Avenger. These words capture three characteristics and to stand with other African Americans in the fight for social justice.1 Her Afro marks her as one who resists assimilation and instead proudly wears her hair in its natural state as a way to celebrate her African heritage.2 At her core she is free, and it ...
3. Revolutionary Black Women in Film: Blaxploitation and the Legacy of Pam Grier
Download PDF (857.1 KB)
...more accessible through the characters in blaxploitation films. way to make “real” revolutionary women more palatable to the masses. Just as the sexual objectification of Angela Davis served to contain the threat that she posed as a strong, powerful revo-lutionary activist, blaxploitation films reinforced the stereotype ...
4. Revolutionary Black Women in Literature: The Narratives of Alice Walker and Audre Lorde
Download PDF (471.7 KB)
...returning to the practice of straightening their hair.2 In addi-tion to the decline of natural hairstyles, there was also a drop the 1990s.3 The images constructed by Lorde and Walker in their written texts, as well as their influence as iconic figures in black 68 of interest in the writing of African American women during this ...
5. Revolutionary Black Women and Music: The Hip-Hop Feminism of Erykah Badu and Me’shell Ndegéocello
Download PDF (577.9 KB)
...literature of black feminists Alice Walker and Audre Lorde were politics in the seventies and the work in the early nineties of young female artists use their craft to engage in revolutionary Purple as inspiration for the video for her hit song “On & On.”3lesbian identity, politics, and desire and the important role of ...
6. The Many Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman: Michelle Obama Reconsidered
Download PDF (738.0 KB)
America’s first lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama, the most prominent responsible for the usual duties incumbent upon the first lady, her husband’s campaign and his first term as president of the United States, illustrate the persistence of visual images that in one image: a black woman with a big Afro, a gun, and an atti-...
Download PDF (159.4 KB)
Download PDF (86.9 KB)
Download PDF (137.1 KB)
Download PDF (97.5 KB)
Page Count: 183
Illustrations: 28 b/w images
Publication Year: 2012