Last week, I read a great article by Nichole Perkins on Buzzfeed that talked about the way the character development of the leading ladies of both Scandal and Sleepy Hollow were working towards dismantling the harmful depictions of "strong black women" in media. It was a great read, and I loved that someone else shared my conclusions about Olivia Pope's characterization.
What stuck out to me however, was Perkins' characterization of Gabourey Sidibe's character Queenie on American Horror Story Coven as a negative embodiment of the "strong black woman" stereotype. She says:
"Then there is Gabourey Sidibe as Queenie on American Horror Story: Coven, a “human voodoo doll” whose supernatural power is the inability to feel pain, even as she inflicts said pain onto someone else. [...] These Strong Black Women feel no emotional pain, tolerate severe physical trauma with no reaction, and menace others with stone faces."
I love American Horror Story Coven. But even though I had immediately made the connection to the racialized violence against black bodies this season, I hadn't picked up on Perkins' perspective of Queenie as a SBW. After seeing last week's episode "The Replacements", I not only vehemently agree with her, I want to expand on her observations.