Stereotypes Of African American Women

2070 Words 9 Pages
Introduction When one thinks of an African American woman, several perceptions may come to mind. Depending on the ethnicity of that person, their experience, and interaction with the Black community as well as Black women may alter. Some individuals have more positive views of African American women as a whole; on the other hand, other individuals may have a more negative view of women of color. According to Wyckoff & Simpson (2008), African American women are labeled to be “strong, independent, invulnerable” and able to “hold their own”. In the media, frequently held stereotypes depict African American women as unsafe, sexually promiscuous, and aggressive; on the other hand, Black women are seen as “mammy figures” (nurturing, submissive, …show more content…
Some individuals may deem this statement as untrue and have seen otherwise, but history has written plenty about African American women and their identity and sexuality in a harsh and adverse manner. Stereotypes are influential agents that affect opinions of others and how they should behave (Wyckoff & Simpson, 2008). Stereotypes are social structures that are used to distinguish between groups of people built on comparable traits (mainly demographics but not always; labels developed as mental examinations in order to quickly process and react to actions of others (Wyckoff & Simpson, 2008). Black women are typically labeled in a negative manner and are depicted as overburdening and controlling; these assets serve as a basis of power for women who take pride in the image of “strong black women” (Wyckoff & Simpson, 2008). African American women are expected to be able to endure difficulties, be totally independent, financially autonomous, and continuously put the needs of her family before her own (Wyckoff & Simpson, 2008). The African American community tends to have more and stronger ties to their families than other ethnicities (Perry et al., 2012). According to Wyckoff & Simpson (2008), research supports the idea that African American women were expected to bear immense sufferings including physical labor and sexual victimization which developed from slavery. In general, Black women face a “double jeopardy” due to their numerous denounced identities and face more mental and emotional stress compared to White women; this correlates to Black women having an increased chance of depression forming as opposed to their White counterparts (Watson et al.,

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