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In Shaded Lives, Beretta Smith-Shomade sets out to dissect images of the African American woman in television from the 1980s. She calls their depiction "binaristic," or split. African American women, although an essential part of television programming today, are still presented as distorted and deviant. By closely examining the television texts of African-American women in comedy, music video, television news and talk shows (Oprah Winfrey is highlighted), Smith-Shomade shows how these voices are represented, what forces may be at work in influencing these images, and what alternate ways of viewing might be available.
Smith-Shomade offers critical examples of where the sexist and racist legacy of this country collide with the cultural strength of Black women in visual and real-lived culture. As the nation's climate of heightened racial divisiveness continues to relegate the representation of Black women to depravity and display, her study is not only useful, it is critical.
Beretta E. Smith-Shomade is an assistant professor of media arts at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She also works as a video documentary producer.
|List of Illustrations|
|Ch. 1||The Maddening Business of Show||8|
|Ch. 2||Laughing Out Loud: Negras Negotiating Situation Comedy||24|
|Ch. 3||I Got Your Bitch! Colored Women, Music Videos, and Punnany Commodity||69|
|Ch. 4||Pubic Hair on My Coke and Other Freaky Tales: Black Women as Television News Events||110|
|Ch. 5||You'd Better Recognize: Oprah the Iconic and Television Talk||148|
|Epilogue: African-American Women in Twenty-first Century X||177|
|App||Black Situation Comedies, 1980-2001||189|