Sister Citizen by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

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Synopsis

Jezebel's sexual lasciviousness, Mammy's devotion, and Sapphire's outspoken anger—these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized.

In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women's political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen instead explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.

 

About Melissa V. Harris-Perry

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Melissa V. Harris-Perry is a professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She is the author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, which won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. She is also a contributor to MSNBC and a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word. She is a columnist for The Nation magazine, as well as a regular commentator for many print and radio sources in the U.S. and abroad. Melissa lives with her family in New Orleans. Lisa Renee Pitts is an award-winning actress in theater, television, and film, as well as an accomplished audiobook narrator. She has been seen Off-Broadway, in Europe, and in regional theaters across the United States, performing leading roles in such prominent plays as A Raisin in the Sun, Doubt, Waiting forLefty, Valley Song, and Our Town. Her television appearances include The Shield and Law and Order, and she played the recurring role of Allison Sawyer on the hit family drama Lincoln Heights for the ABC Family Channel. Lisa's audiobook titlesinclude biographies, fiction, nonfiction and children's novels, including Pushkin and the Queen of Spades by Alice Randall, for which she won an AudioFile Earphones Award for excellence in narration. Other notable titles are Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza, Better Than I Know Myself by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, and My Name Is Not Angelica by Scott O'Dell. Lisa is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she received her B.F.A. in Theater Arts. She lives in Burbank, California.
 
Published September 20, 2011 by Yale University Press. 392 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sister Citizen

Publishers Weekly

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Harris-Perry (Barbershops, Bibles, and BET), columnist for the Nation, draws on literature, biography, social science, anecdote, and focus group statistics to explore the three most pervasive (and per

Aug 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereo...

Insight News

Book Review by Kam Williams. E-mail · Print ... That is the basic question
explored by Professor Melissa Harris-Perry in her fascinating new book, Sister
Citizen.

| Read Full Review of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereo...

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