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TIME TO 'REDEFINE' THE MEDIA'S PORTRAYAL OF BLACK WOMEN

TIME TO 'REDEFINE' THE MEDIA'S PORTRAYAL OF BLACK WOMEN

On the surface, it might appear that many black women have achieved the American dream; they're excelling in politics, business, media and academia.

But Sophia Nelson, a political commentator and author of Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama, says that despite these women's having achieved a level of success that their mothers could only dream of, their accomplishments aren't being reflected in popular American culture.

Nelson tells NPR's Lynn Neary that it often feels like successful black women are "under attack" in America. She cites reaction to Michelle Obama's statements during the 2008 presidential campaign as an example.

"[Michelle Obama] was attacked for her statements that she was proud of her country for the first time," Nelson says. "Then they looked into her senior thesis at Princeton and said that perhaps she had racial issues."

The final straw, Nelson says, was the now-infamous July 2008 New Yorker cover depicting Michelle Obama "with an afro, with a machine gun on her back ... looking like [she was] about to start some type of takeover, or burn some kind of building down."

Nelson says that's the image that set her nascent plans for a book about black women in motion. (more)

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Article by LYNN NEARY, NPR News | Read full article here