Commercialized Look for Black Women

November 16, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

Stereotypes within the black community and the larger culture shape the way we perceive beauty in African-American women, according to panelists on “Black Women and Commercialized Beauty” at the Graduate Center’s Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean. From slender, light-skinned TV stunners to Tyler Perry’s cinematic riff on Mammy to the “Hottentot Venus” – the South African woman displayed and sometimes caged in Paris until her death in 1815 – these stereotypes bring both distortion and truth, panelists say. Speaking are Queens College associate professor of urban studies Dana-ain Davis; former Hunter adjunct English instructor and novelist Eisa Ulen Richardson; and MacArthur-winner Deborah Willis, chair of NYU’s Department of Photography and Imaging and author of “Black Venus 2010: They Called Her ‘Hottentot.’”
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