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ENG 101: English Composition I - Gray

Research Guide for Composition I with Professor Rhonda Gray

Photo of Beyonce

Beyoncé's "Formation" from the album Lemonade (2016)

Photo of Melissa Harris-Perry in Sister Citizen                Photo of Myisha Cherry

                Melissa Harris-Perry's Sister Citizen (2011)   Myisha Cherry's Anger Can Build a Better World (2020)


This guide is designed to help you locate research materials for your essays. It includes scholarly sources and popular media. If you have any trouble finding or accessing resources, please contact a librarian!

Black Lives Matter and Beyonce: A Black Feminist Reflection on Anger, Activism, and Stereotypes

Myisha Cherry, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside, argues that expressing anger towards social injustices can result in positive outcomes for historically marginalized groups in “Anger Can Build a Better World” (2020). However, there is evidence of a “racial anger gap,” coined by Davin L. Phoenix, Associate Professor of Political Science at UC Irvine, where white anger is legitimized and Black anger is perceived as dangerous necessitating immediate containment (see “The Capitol Siege shows how White Americans can express anger that Black Americans cannot” [2021]). The framing of Black protestors as disposable troublemakers, thus minimizing their concerns, culls from the historical framing of Black women and men as inherently angry. Centering the experience of Black women, Melissa Harris-Perry, a Black feminist and political science scholar, reflects on how the Angry Black Woman stereotype strips Black women of their social and political rights in Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America (2011). Through a close reading of chapter 2 of Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen, we will gain a clear understanding of how the Angry Black Woman stereotype is used to undermine the humanity of Black women historically and within today’s context. The reading provides the framework for a Black Feminist analysis of the representation of Beyoncé in the video Formation (2016) allowing us to examine theories on anger and its relationship to liberation struggles.

Professor Rhonda Gray

Rhonda Gray is a Professor of English at Roxbury Community College in Boston, Massachusetts. She teaches courses on rhetoric and composition, literature and cultural studies reflecting research interests in Black feminism, Womanism, American history and culture, and contemplative pedagogy to support a trauma-informed classroom. Within her role as the Honors Program Coordinator (2009-2016), she facilitated the college’s inaugural accreditation of its Honors Program. In 2016, she participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Institute titled “The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath” where she examined the use of minstrel representations of African Americans in US print journalism. She is the co-author of “Using BEAM to Integrate Information Literacy and Writing: A Framework with Case Studies” (Purdue University Press, 2019). Also, Rhonda was one of a dozen facilitators of a national Book Club supporting the launch of Octavia Raheem’s Pause, Rest, Be: Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change (Shambhala Publications, 2022) that blends her work as an English Professor and as a certified yoga instructor. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of Black feminist theories on anger, Womanist activism, and embodied healing of generational trauma. Rhonda is a member of the National Women’s Studies Association and the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition.