Perfectly Imperfect: 6 Layered Black Women Moving TV Forward

Respectability has been a pillar of Black American culture since Emancipation.

Since Black people arrived on the shores of America, we have been subjected to hardships and cruelties based solely on our skin color.

For centuries we’ve combated horrible stereotypes in our everyday lives and American popular culture.

For Black women, in particular, being anything other than docile and likable meant that you could be seen as masculine, mean, overly sexual, asexual, and conniving.

These terms were weaponized against Black people by outsiders and insiders like W.E.B Dubois, who touted his talented tenth, the most educated of the race, as the epitome of “good” Blackness and the embattled Bill Cosby with his “perfect” portrayal of the Black family in “The Cosby Show.”Though respectability has been lauded as a tool for full citizenship in the Black community, it’s a falsehood.

More than that, the performance of likability is exhausting.

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