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Insecure and Being Mary Jane

Dr. Morgan Smalls (James Madison University)

After new episodes drop, fans of TV shows from The Bachelor to Grey’s Anatomy take to social media to dissect what they just saw. And the twittersphere isn’t just venting about plot twists and love interests–sometimes there are bigger issues at hand. Dr. Morgan Smalls says that shows like Insecure and Being Mary Jane that feature Black women protagonists and majority Black casts inspire important conversations about race on social media.

14 mins

Disney Princess Frenemies

Jessica Stanley (John Tyler Community College)

Disney princesses can be a bit of a scapegoat for what’s wrong with representations of women in movies. One of the problems: they don’t have many healthy female relationships. Jessica Stanley talks about the toxic relationships of wicked stepsisters and evil witches and how modern Disney movies are doing better.

14 mins

Struggling for Ordinary

Andre Cavalcante (University of Virginia)

Movies and television tell stories about who we are and who we get to be. What does that mean for people who don’t find themselves on the screen? Andre Cavalcante explores the history of trans representation in the media and how trans women have subverted the stories so often told about them.

12 mins

Through Ebony Eyes

Dr. Kimberly Nichele Brown (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Movies are so much more than entertainment–they shape the way we see the world around us. Even when we don’t realize it. Dr. Kimberly Nichele Brown looks at common stereotypes of Black women in movies and what it means for a casual moviegoer to watch film in an anti-racist way.

12 mins

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