Angry Black Woman

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The Angry Black Woman is a stereotype about black women.[1] The Angry Black Woman is also known as the "Sapphire" or "Sassy Black Woman".

The angry black woman trope was popularized in the 1930s radio show Amos 'n' Andy with the character Sapphire. Her nagging, assertive demeanor and frequent emasculation of her husband has been echoed with characters such as Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son and Pam from Martin. The angry black woman has not been studied to the same degree as the Mammy and Jezebel archetypes. Scholars Dionne Bennett and Marcyliena Morgan suggest that the stereotype is less studied because researchers accept it: "The stereotype of the angry, mean Black woman goes unnamed not because it is insignificant, but because it is considered an essential characteristic of Black femininity regardless of the other stereotypical roles the Black woman may be accused of occupying. These stereotypes are more than representations, they are representations that shape realities."[2][3]

Historically the Angry Black woman view stems from a belief that Black women are more "sassy" and expressive in persona by nature since earlier American culture depictions in movies, dance, and film beginning in the 1900s. It then cultivated into a stereotype grasping on to the belief that Black women are not only expressive, but more opinionated, harsh, have bad attitudes, are loud, and generally negative and rude in nature.[citation needed]

Opposing views

A 2009 academic paper in the publication Black Women, Gender + Families, made the argument that there were no significant anger differences between a sample group of Black Women used in the study and a control group. The paper then claimed that the study provided initial empirical evidence disconfirming the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman.[4] Despite this, the stereotype of the "Angry Black Woman" continues to persist.[5]

Portrayals in the media

See also

Further reading


  1. Kelley, Blair (25 September 2014). "Here's Some History Behind That 'Angry Black Woman' Riff the NY Times Tossed Around". The Root. Retrieved 24 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Harris-Perry, Melissa V. (2011). Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-16554-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Kelley, Blair L. M. (September 25, 2014). "Here's Some History Behind That 'Angry Black Woman' Riff the NY Times Tossed Around". The Root.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Debunking the Myth of the "Angry Black Woman"", J. Celeste Walley-Jean, Black Women, Gender + Families Vol. 3, No. 2 (FALL 2009), pp. 68-86.
  5. "Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV"", Jervette R. Ward, Rutgers University Press, (2015).
  6. Kretsedemas, Philip (January 21, 2010). "But Shes Not Black". Springier Science and Business Media. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Naeemah Clark (November 10, 2013). "Find real African American women in a beauty salon, not on reality TV". Greensboro News & Record.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>