Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and
Black Women in America
Melissa V. Harris-Perry
Sister Citizen explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.
Jezebel’s sexual lasciviousness, Mammy’s devotion, and Sapphire’s outspoken anger—these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized.
In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods to understand more deeply black women’s political and emotional responses to negative race and gender images.
About the Author
Melissa V. Harris-Perry is a professor of Political Science at Tulane University. There she also serves as the Founding Director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South. In addition, Dr. Harris-Perry also works as a columnist for The Nation magazine, contributes as guest blogger for The Nation and is a regular contributor to various MSNBC shows.
In 2005, Dr. Harris-Perry won the W.E.B. DuBois Book award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and won a book award from the American Political Science Association for her first book which was entitled: Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought.
On a personal note, Melissa V. Harris-Perry was born in Seattle and raised in Virginia. She is the daughter of William M. Harris Sr. who served as the dean of Afro-American affairs at the University of Virginia. Melissa is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Learn More About: Melissa V. Harris Perry
Melissa V. Harris-Perry Speaks About Her Book
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