Date of Award

8-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Lawrence, Novotny

Abstract

Historically, images of Black women in media have been confined to one-dimensional, caricatured representations such as the mammy, jezebel, and 'angry Black woman'. However, a small segment of Black female filmmakers have committed to the re-presentation of Black women. This study focuses on two Black female directors, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Ava DuVernay, who have re-presented multi-dimensional images of Black women at the center of their stories. In this thesis, Prince-Bythewood’s "Love & Basketball" (2000) and "Beyond the Lights" (2014) and DuVernay’s "The Door" (2013) and "Selma" (2014) are the subjects of the chapters as I examine themes such as community, motherhood, and girlhood from the films.

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