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Anger, Voice & Violence in Black Women's Stories

AFST 397

MWF 3:30 - 4:45pm | Instructor: Kadeshia L. Matthews

Angry Black WomanThis course interrogates the stereotype of the angry and vocal black woman, focusing particularly on texts authored by black women and the ways in which they offer more complex and nuanced depictions of black women's anger than those we are used to seeing in popular culture (e.g., Amos ‘n Andy’s Sapphire, Martin Lawrence’s Sheneneh, Tyler Perry’s Madea). We know the stereotype, but what do black women themselves have to say about their own and other black women’s anger? At whom or what have they been angry and why? Why and how is that anger expressed, suppressed, marginalized or denied? Under what circumstances, if any, might it be acknowledged and validated? What are the uses of anger? Are certain kinds of anger more legitimate, empowering or productive than others? How do black women think they should respond to the wrongs and oppressions that produce anger? Our examination of these and other questions will be historically grounded, and we will consider music, film and other kinds of texts alongside traditional literary works. Cross listed with English, Women's Studies and American Studies.