Who will fight the negative images of black women in the media?


Words by: A.R. Shaw

Images by: DeWayne Rogers

Model: Demi Grace

Makeup: Marissa Ross

The black female image is in trouble. If you rely solely on media to depict what it means to be a black woman in 2014, it’s highly likely that the takeaway would be overwhelmingly negative.

But things haven’t always been this way. So, the most daunting question is; where did we go wrong?

Music, reality TV and social media have all played an intricate role in portraying the black woman in a negative light. We can’t ignore the lyrics that often degrade black women who are only viewed in terms of being sexual conquests or unworthy of having committed, respectful relationships. Tragically, there are also black female artists who perpetuate the same negativity by debasing themselves and other women through their music.

On any given night, you can find the worst black female stereotypes on reality TV. The top reality TV shows feature black women who argue with one another, physically fight, become intoxicated, are promiscuous, and are proud gold diggers. Black women attach themselves to these degrading roles all for the sake of ratings and money. Unfortunately, black women will continue to portray these images as long as millions indulge in viewing all the drama.

Thankfully, there are alternatives to the madness.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we take a look at black women who have gained and maintained prominence through positive means. These are the women who will fight the negative images of black women in the media.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Shaw's latest book, Trap History, delves into the history and global dominance of Trap music. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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