By Jasmine Kelly
I am sure that you have seen them. You know who I am talking about. The social media comedians (mainly on Instagram), whose “comedy” is all about bashing Black women. I am not even going to limit the bashing of Black women to Black male comedians because it is not just them. You have seen it too. You know, the skits where men are portraying Black women and the situation is rarely positive.
In these skits, the men portraying Black women almost always have their faces screwed up and a bad attitude to match. At first, I thought that I was tripping, but I kept witnessing this phenomenon, to the point that it made me sick, critical, and then curious. I honestly don’t understand why these comedians cannot be innovative and continue to push negative stereotypes of Black women.
For those of you who may say, It’s just comedy; I am here to tell you that it is not.
According to Sturken and Cartwright (2001), “visuality can concern how we see everyday objects and people, not just those things we think of as visual texts.” There are consequences to misinterpretation, especially when it comes to negative images and the misrepresentation of Black women. Unfortunately, Black women are already thought of as mean, ghetto, reckless and Bitchy. I do not believe in respectability politics, and I am not placing the onus of this on Black women. However, I am saying that Black women are multifaceted positively, and comedians can still be funny while not purporting ill images of Black women.
It’s not funny; I will never laugh, do better.
Sturken, M., & Cartwright, L.,. (2001). Practices of looking : An introduction to visual
culture. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
Jasmine Kelly is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Jasmine is a higher education professional who believes in the powers of Black Twitter. You can follow her on Instagram @chicomydusty.