It's not only the image of the nameless black woman on the cover of The Economist as the face of "shame" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, or the devoted and capable Mammy in The Help, a book-turned-movie that misrepresents black history in fundamental ways. There are many more problematic images of black women that saturate media today that skew our perception of reality. Melissa Harris-Perry's book,Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, tells us that it is important, not only for black women but all of us, to rethink the ways to critique and resist the "crooked" force of racism and sexism in our cultural and political life, and to understand the political ramifications of the personal struggle of American black women.
On September 19, Melissa Harris-Perry sat down with Daniella Bibbs Leger of the New American Communities Initiative and Center for American Progress, and talks about her political and emotional responses to the negative images of black women in the culture. Harris-Perry reminds us once again that "the personal is political," and walking through topics of shame, entitlement, reproductive rights, and the image of the First Lady, the author shows us that resistance is possible in many ways.