“Their Time, Their Moment, Their City”: A Critique and Black Feminist Reading of Harlem
Keywords:Harlem; Black Women; Black Feminism; Popular Culture; New York City; Racial Stereotypes, White Women’s Tears.
This article analyses Tracy Oliver’s comedy series Harlem (2021) through the lens of Black Feminism. Invoking combined traces of Living Single (1993-1998) and Sex and the City (1998-2004), I contend Harlem aims to fill in the representation void that has erased Black women from mainstream comedies that are reduced to the white experience as it also aims to transgress the stigmatizing image of Black women in mainstream popular culture. In this manner, Oliver’s Harlem addresses several aspects of the Black female experience and shows the gendered racism Black women endure, such as racial stereotypes, medical mistreatment, or white women’s tears, among many others, prioritizing social accuracy and racial sensibilities through comedy as it follows the lives of four Black women in the neighborhood of Harlem in the twenty-first century.
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