Beyoncé's "Formation" from the album Lemonade (2016)
Melissa Harris-Perry's Sister Citizen (2011) Myisha Cherry's Anger Can Build a Better World (2020)
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Myisha Cherry, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, argues that anger sparks action that can result in positive outcomes for historically marginalized groups in Anger Can Build a Better World. However, the rhetoric of President’s Trump re-election campaign often paints protesters as anarchists and agitators that need to be removed from the national conversation about the global pandemic and police brutality. The framing of protestors as disposable troublemakers that dismisses their concerns culls from the historical framing of Black women as inherently angry. 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 an intersectional analysis of the representation of Beyoncé in the video Formation (2016) allowing us to examine the framing of anger and its relationship to liberation struggles.
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 trauma-informed pedagogy. She is the co-author of Using BEAM to Integrate Information Literacy and Writing: A Framework with Case Studies (Purdue University Press, 2019). Her Honors Faculty Handbook supported the college’s inaugural accreditation of its Honors Program in 2016. Subsequently, she participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Institute titled The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and Its Aftermath drawing from her study of American minstrelsy. She is a member of the Association of the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education and Black Yoga Teachers Alliance feeding her pedagogical pursuits of embodied practices to support teaching and learning in the classroom.