African American Women in the News offers the first in-depth examination of the varied representations of Black women in American journalism, from analyses of coverage of domestic abuse and "crack mothers" to exploration of new media coverage of Michelle Obama on Youtube. Marian Meyers interrogates the complex and often contradictory images of African American women in news media through detailed studies of national and local news, the mainstream and Black press, and traditional news outlets as well as newer digital platforms. She argues that previous studies of African Americans and the news have largely ignored the representations of women as distinct from men, and the ways in which socioeconomic class can be a determining factor in how Black women are portrayed in the news. Meyers also proposes that a pattern of paternalistic racism, as distinct from the "modern" racism found in previous studies of news coverage of African Americans, is more likely to characterize the media's treatment of African American women. Drawing on critical cultural studies and black feminist theory concerning representation and the intersectionality of gender, race and class, Meyers goes beyond the cultural myths and stereotypes of African American women to provide an updated portrayal of Black women today.
African American Women in the News is ideal for courses on African American studies, American studies, journalism studies, media studies, sociology studies, women’s studies and for professional journalists and students of journalism who seek to improve the diversity and sensitivity of their journalistic practice.
"Marian Meyers’s insightful analysis weaves together fine-grained intersections of gender, race and class to highlight key archetypes of African-American women we regularly encounter but rarely engage." —Daniel A. Berkowitz, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa
"In this book, Marian Meyers reveals the complicated ways in which aspects of identity such as race, ethnicity, class and gender work together to produce narratives of difference in representing the figure of the African American woman in mediated discourse. Her innovative intersectional analysis is both sophisticated and clear, providing persuasive and meaningful insights." —Karen Ross, Department of Communication & Media, University of Liverpool
"Marian Meyers’s background as both a journalist and a superb qualitative scholar come through in this book. The research is long overdue and her book instantly fills a hole on our academic bookshelves. The stories she examines are familiar to us, but the research Meyers offers takes us into the substance and meanings of the events with new understanding." —Carolyn Byerly, John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University
"In the first published study of its kind, Meyers reveals the conflicting images of black women in American journalism, sifting through representations in a wide array of media platforms."—Ms. Magazine, Summer 2013
"The strength of African American Women in the News is that Prof. Meyers presents a sustained interrogation into the diverse, albeit often confining and reductive discourses enveloping women. She offers a contemporary, case-centered exploration into the less transparent intersections among race, gender, and class in U.S. news… To be sure, African American Women in the News is an important work." —Robin Means Coleman, University of Michigan
1. The Missing Black Woman in the News: An Introduction. 2. African American Women in Local TV News. 3. CNN and FOX News: African American Women in Cable Network News.4. ‘Tubing with Michelle Obama. 5. Juanita Bynum in Black and White (News). 6. Violence Against African American Women in Local News: Freaknik As a Case Study. 7. Crack Moms and the Narrative of Paternalistic Racism. 8. Finding African American Women in the News: A Conclusion. Index.