chapter  IV
24 Pages

Narratives of the Unwanted Woman

The global overarching construction of black women as the anti-woman2 in beauty, sexual morality, femininity, and womanhood has persisted for centuries through pervasive racialized and gendered narratives (or stories) shared discursively, generation to generation, by whites. According to Delgado, the dominant group uses narratives to not only assert their superior position in society but also to define the subordinated status and position of subjugated groups as natural. The narratives created by rank-and-file white men about black women include the controlling myths of the black jezebel, sapphire, welfare queen, matriarch, and mammy.3 While whites created narratives of themselves as “industrious,” “intelligent,” “moral,” “knowledgeable,” “responsible,” “law-abiding,” “virtuous,” and possessing of an “enabling culture,”4 these white-constructed narratives of both black women and whites are deeply embedded in the fabric of society and central to the deep frames of

contemporary white men (and people in general), guiding how individuals understand, interpret, and perceive black women and whites.