“Michelle” Excerpt from Melissa Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen

Following the announcement of her new MSNBC show, starting in February, Melissa Harris-Perry appeared on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report this Monday to discuss her book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, addressing the four common stereotyped characters that shape African American women’s identities and how they affect women’s place in society.

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America: Melissa V. Harris-PerryOf the four stereotypes—Jezebel, Mammy, Sapphire, and the strong black woman—it’s Sapphire, the “angry black woman,” that has come up this week with the release of Jodi Kantor’s The Obamas. Already Michelle Obama has spoken with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” to address misperceptions about her role in her husband’s White House; she’s tired of being portrayed as “some angry black woman.”  “Michelle,” the final chapter of Harris-Perry’s book, looks at the First Lady as today’s best-known example of an African American woman trying to stand straight in a “crooked room,” which Harris-Perry uses as a central theme throughout to describe this disorientation that is both political and personal.

In addition to the “Crooked Room” we’re releasing a free section—“Sapphire and Michelle’s Marriage” — that goes straight to the repeated comparisons and mentions of Michelle Obama as a dominating and overpowering force behind her husband. Read it here and learn why Sister Citizen is “written for the benefit of all Americans – sister citizens, brother citizens and anyone else who cares about the way this country works.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: African American Studies, American History, Books, Current Events, Excerpts, Political Science, Popular Culture, Television, Women's Studies

Follow Yale Press

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

2 Comments on ““Michelle” Excerpt from Melissa Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen

  1. January 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Can’t wait to read your book…great talk at Wash U last night too. You’re not alone in your efforts!:-)


  1. America’s Amazing First Ladies - Anna Julia Cooper Project - Anna Julia Cooper Project - January 17, 2013

    […] an excerpt from Professor Harris-Perry’s book Sister Citizen on First Lady Michelle […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 111 other followers

%d bloggers like this: