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Scott, Patricia Bell. Debunking Sapphire: Toward a Non-Racist and Non-Sexist Social Science
1977, The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 4 (6)
Added by: Tomasz Zyglewicz, Shannon Brick, Michael Greer
The term "Sapphire" is frequently used to describe an age-old image of Black women. The caricature of the dominating, emasculating Black woman is one which historically has saturated both the popular and scholarly literature. The purpose of this paper is debunk the "Sapphire" caricature as it has been projected in American social science. By exposing the racist and sexist underpinnings of this stereotype, it is hoped that more students and scholars might be sensitized and encouraged to contribute to the development of a nonracist and non-sexist social science.

Comment (from this Blueprint): In this 1977 article, Patricia Bell Scott explains how social sciences had theretofore been racist, sexist, and classist in their research of Black women. She identifies concrete failings and biases in the approach of socials sciences towards Black women, and suggests concrete agendas for research institutions, moving forward.

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