I’m Angry Because Media Said So
Bitter, angry, scarred; these are just a few of the many terms used to describe African American women. These stereotypical terminologies has defaced and defamed Black women for well over 100 years. The problem with this stereotype is it came from the media. The media is telling us that Black women are angry and every other stereotype whether good or positive about different persons race, sex and culture. Some directors such as Tyler Perry and Dudley Murphy use these stereotypes in their films. Their films features black, angry and bitter women protagonists who are sometimes strong, but it can also be the contrary.
The 1929 film St. Louis Blues, starring Blues singer Bessie Smith playing herself is a short about a woman who is being used by her supposedly boyfriend. Smith is a depressed and broken black woman who spends over half the film singing the blues because she was hurt and done wrong by a black man. This is how many films were during this time, women putting their words in the blues, describing their feelings.
During the Blaxploitation era of film; several of these films also features angry black women. Pam Grier stars in the 1973 film Coffy, she is beyond angry in this film. Why? Her younger sister is strung out on ‘smack’ so she goes on a rampage killing several drug dealers and beating anyone up who gets in her way. But not only is her sister strung out, her boyfriend was also beaten to death right in front of her. So, shouldn’t she have a reason to be angry considering her circumstances? According to the media, no. She’s just another black woman bitter and angry, blaming it on society.
Tyler Perry is the man who most think of today when they think of the depiction of an angry black woman. He has countless films in which black women are distorted, stereotyped against and put down. Diary of A Mad Black Woman, Why Did I Get Married (Too), I Can Do Bad All By Myself, these are just to name a few. Each of these films features one or more angry, black female protagonist. The only things that’s unblemished is that these women are angry and that’s all most audience members remembers from these film; they don’t exactly remember why she’s angry and who or what made her that way. It’s just another angry black woman acting a fool for no reason.
The fact that black women are often seen as angry is not completely these directors fault, after all they’re only mocking what directors and media personnel’s before them did. The myth of an angry black woman really dates back to women such as Margaret Garner, Ann Arnold, and even Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. Black women who had the experiences of being a pet to the white man and being treated like something less than an animal. Slavery in American began in the mid-1770s; when America was discovered of course. Therefore for nearly 240 years black women has been seen as angry. If you were beaten, forced to work in fields, raped, pulled away from your family, watch many of your loved ones die, wouldn’t you be angry too?
The problem with media and black women is they’re continuing to make black women angry because that’s all they know about them. They know little to nothing positive about a black woman, because they’re still feeding into the stereotypes that supposedly describes them. These stereotypical flaws are centuries old. They also almost always find something else to add to the list as to why black women are angry such as; they husbands and/or boyfriends left them, they’re broke and raising a child alone or maybe just their life isn’t going as planned. Is it only black women who face these everyday events? No, but somehow they are the main women of any other ethnicity derided by the media.