I’m sure most folks have heard/seen this racist ad courtesy of Las Vegas.com…If not, here ya go:
The Sapphire stereotype is an image mainstream media loves of black women. They can project all of their hatred of blackness/women on this caricature. The loud black woman rolling her neck with long acrylics at her customer service job, dehumanizes black women who work in these positions . The Sapphire stereotype has been around forever.
As noted on the website, For Harriet: celebrating the fullness of black womanhood:
“Hard, strong, emasculating, overbearing and controlling are all characteristics of the traditional Sapphire stereotype. Sapphire was created to threaten the power of the black male and to place a negative gaze upon any black woman who dared to critique the horrible conditions black women had to face. The Sapphire stereotype was popularized by the character, Sapphire Stevens, in the mid 20th century television show Amos ‘n’ Andy. Today Sapphire has evolved into the angry black woman. This stereotype is probably the most popular characterization of black women today. This woman is always yelling, starting fights, and insulting men. Reality television is perpetuating this stereotype more than ever by highlighting fights between black women and failed relationships with black men. This stereotype has become such a popular way to view black women that our first lady, Michelle Obama, who exudes grace and class has been classified as a modern say Sapphire.”