In a recent article for the Journal of African American History , Woolner dug into early 20th century American court records and newspapers — including African-American newspapers — to study how black lesbians were portrayed at the time. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. In these newspaper accounts, only some of which can be verified by public records, women in relationships with other women were described as a "class of perverts," an "unusual type," and crimes were the result of "perverted affections" and "insanity. Understanding where these assumptions originated, and how they've captured the media's imagination, can give us some insight into how they function today. In the film, it's butch lesbian Cleo, played by Queen Latifah, who first suggests violent crime as a solution to their economic problems.
Kenley. Age: 25.
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Zariah. Age: 24.
The 'Criminal' Black Lesbian: Where Does This Damaging Stereotype Come From?
Despite their injuries, they were sentenced to between three and 11 years in prison. Stereotypes and myths about black lesbianism have been kicking around for at least a century, and black people have been hyper-sexualized and stereotyped as violent in the media and popular culture for far longer. It was the result of the women's "abnormal" lives and desires.