Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


Traditional media depictions of African American women have at times been demeaning and derogatory. Slavery produced many of the negative images that continue to influence the contemporary portrayals of African American women. Today, a new plethora of racial stereotypes about African American women are bombarding this generation with equally disastrous implications. The relatively recent emergence of rap music and rap videos into the popular culture has transcended racial, geographic, and cultural barriers. The pervasive accessibility of hip-hop music and videos has enabled its misogynistic lyrics and images to be broadcast throughout the world. This hip-hop culture is dominated by African American males and most of its hypersexual lyrics and imagery are either expressed or implied about African American women. These disturbing new images are shaping the self-esteem and interpersonal relationships of today’s youth that are seduced by the rhythmic beats and extravagant lifestyles that hip-hop purports.

The purpose of this study is to analyze the adverse portrayals of African American women in both a historical and contemporary context, and to explore solutions for parents and advocates to balance and dispel those images. The Anti-Video Girl website intends to equip parents, teens, advocates, and educators with the information necessary to combat the onslaught of negative images of African American females in hip-hop videos, music, magazines, and movies. This website will contain articles, interviews, links, strategies, spotlights, message boards and forums to engage teens, parents, and advocates in productive dialogues. In addition, the Anti-Video Girl website seeks to promote girl-serving organizations that are already established in communities, but lack exposure. The researcher believes that by creating a website that organizes relevant data on this subject, and by providing a platform for existing programs to reach decision-makers into a one-stop-shop, it will be simpler for busy parents and advocates to access and implement the knowledge gained from the site.