Keep Your Head Up

At the end of the 23rd episode from the 1st season, Living Single features a Queen Latifah song which best describes the counter-movement against the image created about African American women. Whether we are talking about movies, or about songs (hip-hop especially), or about any other kind of medium, the woman is very often referred to with offensive terms such as bitch and ho.

Basically, even nowadays when we are supposed to be a more modern society, such terms are still to be found in most (if not all) of the hip-hop culture. Women, from this perspective and without any reference to the skin color, are just gold-digging girlfriends or wives that cannot be satiated by anything.

From this point of view, women are as opportunistic as they can be just because they are women. In other words, their main trait is this one and none other.

But this is just a generalization which has no connection with reality, and plenty examples can be given. However, what I want to point out was that this (the prejudice with which all woman are met, and particularly the African-American ones) was one of the main themes of the show.

Granted, there weren’t many social issues debated over the course of the five seasons of Living Single. However, just like a red thread, the fighting against prejudices can be seen in every episode of this show.

Another thing which can be said is that, at times, these kinds of words appear in the same closed group. But while in such cases these expressions are nothing more than playful, friendly banter, when someone from the exterior uses them they have a different connotation.

The point I want to make is that whenever a prejudice or a stereotype is formed, it can only have one meaning, even if it is sugarcoated. While Living Single’s UNITY episode had (somehow) a happy ending, the problem still remains.

And it isn’t just one concerning the meaning of the words (so it isn’t just a linguistic problem), just like it isn’t just a racial stereotype. Living Single did say that – but, in a way, the resolve wasn’t as convincing as it should have been.

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