According to Melissa Harris Perry, black women are stereotyped as being lazy and ignorant, dealing with shame, confronting tragedy, and finding faith. Write a paragraph about it.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, Melissa Harris Perry uses data (qualitative and quantitative), media, literature, and science to examine how stereotypes about black women have been created. Harris-Perry considers how black women have come to survive in the face of these stereotypes. An integral theme in her book is the concept of misrecognition, the idea that society places an image that attaches preconceived meaning to a group of people. Misrecognitions are failures of people to see individuals as whole humans capable of a wide range of beliefs and ways of being and looking. Harris-Perry argues that recognition is a necessary component of citizenship. Since black women are misrecognized, they are non-citizens. Harris-Perry argues that all black women regardless of class experience misrecognition. She uses Michelle Obama as an example of a black woman who has succeeded in American society but still sits in a "crooked room." She argues that while Michelle Obama has gained notoriety in America, she is still battling misrecognition.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team