Black Women as Scapegoats: The Mass Incarceration of Black Men and the Social Stigma of the Welfare Queen
Dr. Ashlyn Kuersten and Dr. Angie Moe
In popular and academic discourse, African American women are regarded as the source of all social ills within the inner-city. This has become increasingly true in the era of mass incarceration, resultant of the War on Drugs. While Black men are portrayed as violent criminals, Black women are portrayed as the drug addicted, welfare queens they left behind. This trend can be explained, in part, by the actions of politicians and researchers who appear to remain ignorant to the importance of recognizing social structures such as gender, race, and class. We argue that Black single mothers, some of the most marginalized in our society, have become scapegoats, blamed for everything from the War on Drugs to inner-city poverty. Further, we posit that any attempt to understand inequality within the inner-city must take into account how policy, the culture of poverty, and colorblind racism intersect to ensure the simultaneous oppression of not only Black men but Black women as well.
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Grace, Keiondra J. and McLaughlin, Olivia M., "Black Women as Scapegoats: The Mass Incarceration of Black Men and the Social Stigma of the Welfare Queen" (2017). Research and Creative Activities Poster Day. 264.