The Angry 'Black' Woman (ABW) stereotype is under the microscope in this season's OWN network premiere of Fix My Life featuring Iyanla Vanzant. Vanzant is a self-help guru who has authored dozens of books and sold millions of copies. The season premiere of her show sparked across the internet a myriad of headlines that boast of very aggressive terms such as destroy, tackle, and dispel the so-called myth of the Angry 'Black' Woman. Yes, I know I am a bit late to the conversation as we sit on the doorstep of the last episode of the four-part series, however, I found it a great opportunity to watch the series with a bit of continuity. As the author of Angry 'Black' Woman Syndrome Revisited, I found so much of what was being perpetuated very disturbing. Half way through watching I had to remind myself that this was a show, a reality tv show at that.
In the opening credits Vanzant emphatically proclaimed that the Angry 'Black' Woman stereotype is a myth. There are many scholars who have researched and voiced their findings on this topic. I am one who has studied in detail this 'myth' and I have to differ with Vanzant’s approach in addressing it. Did the OWN producers spend thousands of dollars to recruit, promote and produce a four episode series on a lie? I question how were the show’s producers able to find women who proudly proclaimed that they were indeed angry if no such person according to Iyanla exists? One attorney, Gloria, 46, and divorced is heard testifying that "Black woman are angry and they have a reason to be."
To be angry or not to be angry that is the question.
The direction of the series appears confusing at times. With a watchful eye and a keen ear you can hear Iyanla pushing to negate and justify the claim of the ABW at the same time. Would you seek healing from an ailment that you don't have? How can you fix what doesn't exist? On this premise I decided to continue listening and watching. I look forward to seeing the last episode this coming Saturday night after which I will give a full recap and review of the series on my Youtube Channel.
Until then continue to use critical thinking when consuming information about life, love, and healing from 'reality' tv.