The Not So Silver Screen: Black Women in the Media

Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m. PST

The widespread coverage of race and gender inequality in Hollywood often excludes black women. The wage gap for black women in the entertainment industry is a symptom of a larger issue: the invisibility and devaluing of black women in media culture as performers, producers, and directors. Kimberlé Crenshaw moderates a panel exploring this narrative alongside solutions to promote black women as creators. Co-presented by the Hammer Museum, audience members have the option of attending this program in person in Los Angeles, or watching the event live via streaming.

Access the stream here via the Hammer Museum website.


ALL HAMMER PROGRAMS ARE FREE: Tickets are available at the Box Office one hour before the program. One ticket per person; first come, first served. Early arrival is recommended.


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Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How are Black women represented in the media?

    • Representation of Black women in media is not only disproportionately sparse, but when it does occur it is often disparaging or based in negative stereotypes:

      • According to an Essence study, "typical" portrayals include: Gold Diggers, Modern Jezebels, Baby Mamas, Uneducated Sisters, Ratchet Women, Angry Black Women, Mean Black Girls, Unhealthy Black Women, and Black Barbies.

      • Tweet: We want more & better representation of Black women in movies & tv: say no to stereotypes #HerDreamDeferred

  2. How many Black women are represented in movies?

    • Fewer than 50 of the 250 box office releases by Dec. ‘13 featured a Black woman in a leading or supporting role. Among the top 10 grossing movies, only Star Trek into Darkness featured a Black woman.

      • The percentage of female characters in films who are Black is also falling, at just 11% in 2015, down from 14% in 2013 and 15% in 2002.

    • Tweet: Not enough Black women are in leading or supporting roles onscreen. We want & need their faces & voices #HerDreamDeferred

  3. How many Black women produce content in the media?

    • The number of Black women producing content through traditional media channels (film, tv, news) is disproportionately low. For example, Just 2.19% of daily newspaper employees are Black women.

    • Tweet: The amount of Black women producers is too low, just 2.19% of daily newspaper employees are Black women. #HerDreamDeferred

  4. Do Black women have more opportunities for representation in new media?

    • New opportunities exist in less traditional media platforms, particularly in digital media (Black Twitter for instance), where Black women have risen as media creators and seem likely to continue to do so.

    • Tweet: Encourage Black women creators in new media and on #blacktwitter #HerDreamDeferred

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