Amanda Seales And Media Misogynoir

braided woman taking photo beside yellow painted wall
Briona Lamback
April 19, 2024

Amanda Seales speaks out against injustices, uplifts the culture, and refuses to conform to the status quo that tries to silence Black women. So, why has she become the recent target of attacks from various Black media outlets?

Misogynoir, coined by scholar Moya Bailey, describes the unique ways popular culture pathologizes Black women. According to Bailey, "the root of misogynoir stems from how people perceive and treat Black women and understand them to be worthy of human decency and respect."

Misogynoir often shows up in the weaponized language and tropes used to depict Black women as aggressive, hostile, or overbearing. The infamous "strong Black woman" trope minimizes Black women's emotional well-being and humanity.

It doesn’t allow room for mistakes or learning. It’s important when we understand this concept when considering Seales and other Black women thought leaders.

That’s because these stereotypes manifest into real-life collective harm for Black women. Research proves Black women are disproportionately targets of sexual assault, domestic violence, and violent online bullying and these attacks are rooted in misogynoir.

Seales considers herself a "truth translator” and she isn't the first Black woman to face consequences for speaking up. In 1968, Earth Kitt publicly denounced the Vietnam War at the White House luncheon, prompting a CIA investigation and derailing her career. 

The entertainment industry shunned musician Hazel Scott at the height of her career after she was named on the Red Channels, a publication that identified suspected communists. Even though Scott defended herself, her career plummeted.

Black women have always been the backbone of our community, so misogynoir should have no place in it. Whether we agree with Seales or not, she and other Black women deserve listening to, valuing, and defending from danger.