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.