The Jezebel was another origin of the hypersexual nature of African American women. This stereotype developed after Sarah Baartman era. The term jezebel is heard in the Bible.“The negative jezebel stereotype also has a long history in American culture. She is usually a young, exotic, promiscuous, oversexed woman who uses sexuality to get attention, love, and material goods”(Tyree, p.398). Being defined as one’s body was not enough, the jezebel ideal elevated. Sexual assault took over and women were left dealing with the title of, jezebels who wanted this type of behavior happen to them. Understanding that rape was not illegal when the victim was an African American woman. History points to the fact that “white men were probably never convicted for raping African American women”(Weitz, p. 6). Meaning that African American women are not even worth sentencing a white man to prison time, because of the class and race the victim was. Which fueled the argument that, “These images allowed for the belief that African American women could not be raped because they always “wanted it” and subsequently permitted the perpetrators of these crimes against African American women to escape legal or social sanctions” (Walley-Jean, p.70).
The angry black woman theme has taken over media outlets, especially television. The origins of this ideal came from the image of the sapphire. The Sapphire “.was depicted as hostile and nagging, and her primary goal was to castigate her African American husband, casting African American women as overly aggressive and masculinized” (Walley-Jean, p.70). Meaning, the sapphire’s role was to reprimand her husband,which deemed her to be overly aggressive. Sapphire was also seen as the matriarch because of her goin...
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...levision is getting better, that improvement needs to be capitalized on by giving African American woman more developed characters.
The first African American woman to win an Emmy award was Viola Davis. When she won that award she said: “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields, and lovely flowers, and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can 't seem to get there no how. I can 't seem to get over that line. And let me tell you something. The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there”. As opportunities are the start points for anything exposure to occur, there needs to be more complexed, less sexualized, and versatile roles for African American women are not taking on roles that negatively depict who they are.
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