Essence Festival: Kenya Moore discusses images of black women on reality television with Melissa Harris Perry

The 2013 Essence Festival is a celebration of black women. No discussion of the state of African-American womanhood would be complete without delving into the images of black women presented through reality television series.

In this segment of the Melissa Harris-Perry show, broadcast live from the Essence Festival experience at the New Orleans Morial Convention center, Harris-Perry discusses these images of black women, which many see as negative stereotypes.

Her panel of guests include black women who have, through their work, defied conventional stereotypes of black women, including theGrio’s managing editor Joy-Ann Reid, and Issa Rae, the creator of the groundbreaking web series Awkward Black Girl. Tonya Lewis Lee, author and wife of filmmaker Spike Lee, also weighed in.

Kenya Moore, star of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, also joined the women on the panel. After noting that her show is the number one show on Bravo, she added that it is popular among people of all walks of life for a reason.

Women watch the show, Moore said, because, “they identify with the women that they’re seeing.” Describing her co-stars as mothers, wives, and business women, Moore gave a perspective on the show as one that depicts African-American women in a variety of roles that are far from stereotypical.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter @lexisb.

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