Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication and Digital Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Dr. Anand Rao

First Advisor

Dr. Adria Goldman

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


The purpose of this study was to explore the connection between the angry black woman stereotype in film and reality. This study examined the definition of anger and what it looks like. The researcher hypothesized the presumed misinterpreted behavior of black women in popular media; 1) the role of an angry black woman in film is often exaggerated for entertainment purposes, and 2) anger is often a secondary emotion to fear and sadness. Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman was analyzed as an artifact of popular media for signs of anger in Black Women mentally, physically, and emotionally. Portraiture was used as a methodology to distinguish how Perry used a sense of familiarity to reach his audience (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997). He painted his characters with their clothing, body types, and skin tones as an artist paints a portrait with line, shape, and color. Research depicts anger is often an emotional response to shame and fear; Black anger, however, is often a response to white supremacy and injustices. Findings show the angry Black woman stereotype dated back to times of slavery as a form of control over Black women. In the 1960’s, Malcom X, a prolific leader in the black community noted “the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman” (Wilson, 2021). Black women’s resilience and strength is often misinterpreted as irrational aggression. Despite society’s negative connotation, studies suggest expressing emotions like anger is healthy and avoids illnesses.

Included in

Communication Commons