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Department of Sociology News

Dr. Nicole Rousseau's Book Wins Scholarly Achievement Award

Posted Dec. 22, 2009

Black Woman's Burden: Commodifying Black Reproduction, by Dr. Nicole Rousseau, was awarded the North Central Sociological Association's Scholarly Achievement Award in Chicago this spring.  A description of the book is below.  For more information, please visit


bwb_1The national agenda, long shaped by the needs of the economy and the rhetoric of political leadership, has been sharply impacted by negative images of Black women.  This social rhetoric disseminated by American media and embraced by the American people has influenced policies that have disproportionately affected Black women, particularly Black women's reproduction.  This book examines these extreme historical atrocities perpetuated against Black women under the guise of regulating Black female sexuality and reproduction in the US.  Forcing us to realize that we have not simply come to the collective conclusion, as a nation, that Black women are controlling and aggressive and angry, on our own.  Rather this perception has been built over generations, through clever and purposeful social rhetoric; oppressive social policy; and reactive masses. Thus, eradicating the myth of the "angry Black woman."  To that end, this book further explores the continued impact of labeling and stereotyping on the development of policies that lead to the construction of national, racial, and gender identities for Black women.