Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Alicia Bonaparte

Reader 2

Damien Sojoyner

Rights Information

© 2013 Joi Ward


This study examines the youtube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and how it challenges representations of Black women in media, television and film. I argue that the director of the series, Issa Rae challenges predominant images of Black womanhood through her character "J".

Through a historical framework I examine the mammie, jezebel, sapphire and the tragic mulatta as predominant images of Black women. I argue that these images function within oppressive institutions to maintain a social heirarchy in which Black women are inferior. Moreover, my content analysis examines how the character "J" negates these predominant images of Black womanhood through her use of rap as a coping mechanism, sexual agency and the ability to negotiate racism in the workplace

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff. It is not available for interlibrary loan. Please send a request for access through Contact Us.