Stephen Colbert asks MHP to pick a winner in the Oppression Olympics

Melissa Harris-Perry, author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America and host of a new yet-to-be-named weekend news and politics show on MSNBC, was on “The Colbert Report” last night. She and Colbert talked about the stereotypes of Black women that she explores in her book – the Jezebel, the Sapphire, the Mammy and the Strong Black Woman – and about the stereotype of the Absent Black Man.

Lest she be accused of reverse racism or reverse sexism, Harris-Perry assured Colbert that stereotypes don’t affect only Black women. “In some ways, don’t all women face stereotypes?” Colbert asked. “All women face stereotypes,” MHP replied, “there’s no Oppression Olympics, there’s no one group where things are so much worse,” whereupon Colbert interrupted to ask, “Who would win? Who would win if there were?”

“The point of the book,” MHP then explained, “is not that there are these bad things that these other folks are doing to African American women. The point of the book is that it matters how we feel about ourselves. That African American women’s internal life experiences are part of the American story.” For more on Sister Citizen, read Samhita’s recent review.

Rock on, MHP. And here’s hoping she has Colbert on as a guest on her new show when it starts. On February 4. Which is less than a month away. Not that I’m counting it down or anything.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted January 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Wow February

  2. Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Awesome interview. I love Colbert and watch him every night, but usually turn off the TV before the interview – I’m either too tired, or I’m just not interested in the guest. I also get disappointed sometimes because, while he is a brilliant satirist and I love how he plays this character, he often overpowers his guests during the interview. I stayed up for this one though. I’m only slightly familiar with MHP, but when I heard she was going to be on the show to talk about her book I looked it up and decided I had to watch the show.

    It was really a great interview. I’ll definitely be picking up her book!

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