"HUNGRY TO SEE OURSELVES REFLECTED": IDENTITY, REPRESENTATION AND BLACK FEMALE SPECTATORSHIP
George, Eva Marie
Parks, Sheri L
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While much has been written about the portrayals of Black women in popular culture, scholars have observed that little attention is paid to the experiences of Black women as cultural consumers. This analysis of Black female spectatorship examines theories related to this experience and the various relationships individuals may have with media. This study sheds light on the ways Black women's spectatorship is shaped by gender, race, class and sexual orientation. Through qualitative methods, we hear the voices of Black women in the Washington, D.C. area reflecting on various forms of popular culture, particularly film. Some of the media women responded to in this study include Waiting to Exhale, The Best Man, Jungle Fever, among others. Responses from a focus group, on-on-one interviews and questionnaires provide evidence of the ways in which Black women engage in multiple relationships with images they see in the media. Ultimately, many of the African American women in this study disregard negative images of Black women and purposely choose types of media that sustain their sense of self and help them maintain a positive identity.