Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


African American and Africana Studies

Second Department


Faculty Mentor

Edward Onaci

Second Faculty Mentor

Kneia DaCosta

Project Description

Although the black community has experienced an untold number of trials in the United States of America, it has demonstrated resilience through adversity. This may be especially true of the women of black communities in this nation. From slave ships to Baldwin Hills, black women have had a fundamental role in cultural appropriation of controlling images or the transformation of hurtful stereotypes into positive affirmations. Time and time again, black women have taken a negative image, such as the “jezebel,” and converted it into a liberated and self-sufficient role model, the independent woman. Yet, this is only one of the many examples of the black woman successfully taking an image imposed by her oppressor and diminishing its power over her.

This paper examines black women’s appropriation of oppressive stereotypes as a means of coping with adversity. This project will give insight into the complex psychological layers of being a black woman in the United States and how her experience has been shaped by centuries of white supremacy. This project has resulted in a historically-based paper shaped by research into seminal books, films, television shows, and other sources of racist stereotypes of the black community and re-appropriated identities.


Presented during the 18th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2016 at Ursinus College.


Available to Ursinus community only.