What TV characters perform the African American “diva” stereotype? What TV characters perform the “black lady” stereotype? Explain how they conform to the stereotypes.
each answer should be 100-150 words
1. What TV characters perform the African American “diva” stereotype? What TV characters perform the “black lady” stereotype? Explain how they conform to the stereotypes.
2. Consider Springer’s critique of postfeminist, post-civil rights discourses about reality TV’s depictions of black women – can you think of any TV show (reality or fiction) that portrays black women in non-stereotypical ways (not as “divas” and not as “black ladies”)?
3. The examples that Cartier gives of “future texts” of black women in popular media are still stuck within a narrow spectrum of possible representations – Minaj as a “liberated” or empowered artist who is still a hypersexual figure, Olivia Pope as a “respectable mistress” to a powerful white man. What do you think will have to happen in order for popular black female media figures to represent what Cartier calls a “wider spectrum”? What would that “wider spectrum” of possible black female representations look like?
4. Does Gray’s essay from the late 1980s still ring true for you today? Why or why not — or, which parts of his essay still seem like accurate descriptions of media representations of African Americans today, and which seem outdated?
5. What’s an example of a TV show in which a black male actor gets to play a “man” (his character adheres to well-known codes of masculine conduct, making the character stable and legible) while a black female actor plays a character who is a cipher? Do you think that, with the rise of African American woman-led series such as Empire and Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder (among others), that this distinction no longer holds? Today, are African American female characters on TV more legible and defined, and African American male characters on TV more like ciphers?