Born in Seattle, Washington on October 2, 1973, but raised in
Charlottesvile and Chester, Virginia, Melissa V. Harris-Perry
is a professor of political science at Tulane University where she
is the founding director of the project on gender, race, and politics in the
South. Her previous book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and
Black Political Thought, won the 2005 W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the
National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the 2005 Best Book
Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political
Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America
Click to order via Amazon
Hardcover: 392 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (September 20, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
Jezebel's sexual lasciviousness, Mammy's devotion, and Sapphire's
outspoken anger—these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black
women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such
representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked
room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond
by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even
themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique
political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized.
In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women's political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen instead explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Princeton University Press (March 29, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
Winner of the 2005 Best Book Award, Racial and Ethnic Political Identities, Ideologies and Theories Category of the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section, American Political Science Association.
Co-Winner of the 2005 W.E.B. Du Bois Book Award, National Conference of Black Political Scientists
What is the best way to understand black political ideology? Just listen to the everyday talk that emerges in public spaces, suggests Melissa Harris-Lacewell. And listen this author has--to black college students talking about the Million Man March and welfare, to Southern, black Baptists discussing homosexuality in the church, to black men in a barbershop early on a Saturday morning, to the voices of hip-hop music and Black Entertainment Television.
Using statistical, experimental, and ethnographic methods Barbershops, Bibles, and B.E.T offers a new perspective on the way public opinion and ideologies are formed at the grassroots level. The book makes an important contribution to our understanding of black politics by shifting the focus from the influence of national elites in opinion formation to the influence of local elites and people in daily interaction with each other. Arguing that African Americans use community dialogue to jointly develop understandings of their collective political interests, Harris-Lacewell identifies four political ideologies that constitute the framework of contemporary black political thought: Black Nationalism, Black Feminism, Black Conservatism and Liberal Integrationism. These ideologies, the book posits, help African Americans to understand persistent social and economic inequality, to identify the significance of race in that inequality, and to devise strategies for overcoming it.