Black feminism

The Jezebel Stereotype: A Reading List

The Jezebel stereotype is an image meant to control Black women's sexuality
The 'Jezebel' stereotype is an image meant to control Black women's sexuality

The Jezebel stereotype portrays Black women as sexually promiscuous. The stereotype leads to a societal belief that Black women need various forms of social control including restricted access to reproductive care. Historically, the stereotype helped to justify a wide range of abuses against Black bodies including rape and lynching. The stereotype lives on in modern form in hiphop caricatures of Black women as the “hoe” or “golddigger.” Black feminists across a wide range of academic disciplines have discussed the Jezebel stereotype and the ways it affects Black women.

This list features suggested reading for those interested in the Jezebel stereotype, a fundamental figure in the study of Black women and sexuality. Most of the articles and books on this list come from academics, particularly in the social sciences. Blogs come from news source as well as Black women bloggers who discuss Black feminism. Finally, the list ends with a few pop culture references including videos, songs, and films that highlight how the Jezebel stereotype affects Black women in everyday life.

This reading list benefits first and foremost undergraduate students or early career graduate students interested in using a Black feminist lens in their research. If this reading list benefits you or if you have any suggestions, be sure to let me know at

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