The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday April 12th

Letter: Black women face misrepresentation


Black women in our society are understood to be one of the most devalued groups of people within American culture, and it’s neither fair nor accurate.

Popular culture has perfected its ability to portray the status of various groups through influential images and their messages. Taking on the burdens of identifying as both female and black in a misogynistic, white-supremacist society are obstacles that African-American women face daily. And it’s disturbing, because black women are the most educated group in the U.S.

Constant images of black women as loud, attitudinal, desexualized and oversexualized have an impact on black women’s sense of self-worth. Due to the large consumption of media placed on Americans, we often turn to popular culture to inform ourselves on how we should feel toward ourselves and others.

However, when a group has limited or derogatory representations, it makes it difficult to challenge or rearticulate these illustrations with such a small platform. There have been many advancements in the amount of media coverage for black women. However, this advancement hasn’t necessarily been matched with more positive images, and the opportunities are still limited.

To believe that black women have gained control of how they’re portrayed in mass media because of a few positive images is about as naïve as thinking that because our president is black, America is a post-racialist, nondiscriminatory society. Struggling to contest their prevailing objectification, black women yearn to gain control over their own image.

Chandler Coley


Communication Studies

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