Welcome to the research guide for ENG 101 with Professor Rhonda Gray. This guide is designed to help you locate research materials for your essays concerning Chapter 2 of Melissa Harris-Perry's Sister Citizen. It includes scholarly sources and popular media and is organized according to the three stereotypes of black women that Harris-Perry analyzes in this chapter. If you have any trouble finding or accessing resources, please contact a librarian!
Attacks Against Women of Color’s Right to Citizenship
Jelani Cobb, journalist and Columbia University Professor, recently penned an article in the New Yorker titled "Donald Trump’s Idea of Selective Citizenship" reflecting on the President’s attacks of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib based on the false claim that they are not US citizens and, as a result, are not qualified to address the concerns of the nation within their roles in Congress. Cobb makes the argument that these overtly racist and sexist remarks play well to Trump’s voting base as well as reanimates a history of debates on who has the right to be a US citizen that began with the nation’s “first immigration law, passed in 1790, [that allowed] for the naturalization of white immigrants only” (Cobb). It would be close to 100 years later that African Americans are deemed citizens (1868). Melissa Harris-Perry looks at the way one’s race, class, and gender within the context of the Black female experience often rendered women of color in the margins, if not completely erased, from access to their rights as citizens. Through a close reading of Chapter 2, "Myth," of Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (2011), we will gain a clear understanding of stereotypes used to undermine the humanity of Black women historically and within today’s context. The reading provides the framework for an intersectional analysis of the representation of women of color in politics and popular culture conveyed in the final paper for the course.