In 2015 race and gender writer Tamara Winfrey-Harris’ award-winning debut The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America became a touchstone of Black feminist thought. Now, its expanded second edition paperback, released late 2021 via Berrett-Koehler Publishers, offers fresh analysis, while continuing to challenge the distorted caricatures surrounding Black women, according to a recent press release.
When African women arrived on American shores, the three-headed hydra—servile Mammy, angry Sapphire, and lascivious Jezebel—followed close behind. These stereotypes persist to this day through newspaper headlines, Sunday sermons, social media memes, cable punditry, government policies, big screen portrayals, and hit song lyrics. Winfrey-Harris reveals that while emancipation may have happened more than 150 years ago, America still won’t let a sister be free from this coven of caricatures.
The latest edition of this bestseller features new interviews with Black women about marriage, motherhood, health, sexuality, beauty, and more. Alongside these authentic experiences and fresh voices, Winfrey-Harris explores the evolution of stereotypes of Black women, with new real-life examples, such as the rise of blackfishing and digital blackface (which help white women rise to fame) and the media’s continued fascination with Black women’s sexuality (as with Cardi B or Megan Thee Stallion).
The second edition also includes a new chapter on Black women and power that explores how persistent stereotypes challenge Black women’s recent leadership and achievements in activism, community organizing, and politics. The chapter includes interviews with activists and civic leaders and interrogates media coverage and perceptions of Stacey Abrams, Vice President Kamala Harris, and others.
Gabrielle Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions and Katie and Mauricio Mota’s Wise Entertainment have optioned The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women In America to develop as a 30-minute dramedy for television. The book is available via Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Penguin Random House and wherever books are sold. Winfrey-Harris has spoken at a variety of institutions including The Indianapolis Public Library, Ohio State, Princeton, Purdue, DC Public library, and many others.
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