Trope of the Week: Sassy Black Woman

Lively, loud, sexual, and Black, this woman is not afraid to tell you the way it is. She is not one to be spoken over, and if you dare to try, she will put you in your place.

Why this can be bad: This trope came into being during the Civil Rights movements in the 70s. This was a time when white writers were trying to include positive black characters in their works, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out great since this is the role most Black women were cast in… forever. Even the Mammy could be pushed into the role, sassing her kids while trying to “keep them in line.” When Black women are constantly characterized in media as hypersexual and abrasive, it changes the way audiences view them in real life. This trope is also oversaturating media, and when young Black girls — and women — look for themselves in media, they are not necessarily finding representations of themselves but rather of a small subset of their population.

How you can fix it: Rather than type out my opinions, I’m going to direct you to this post by a blog called Writing with Color. As Black women, they will be able to more properly and appropriately direct you on how to fix and amend this trope.

Bottom Line: Listen to Black women’s opinions on the issue, and consider subverting the sass, creating a Deadpan Snarker, and, of course, making her a fully fleshed-out character.

One comment on “Trope of the Week: Sassy Black Woman

  1. jbgarner58 says:

    Reblogged this on J. B. Garner – Musings of a Starving Author and commented:
    Time to pass along Paige’s Trope of the Week! Enjoy!

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