During an interview with television personality/journalist Jacque Reid last week, civil rights activist Angela Davis announced a new campaign, “Bury the Ratchet,” aimed at improving the depictions of Black women in mainstream media.
The “Bury the Ratchet” campaign specifically targets Black women who live right here in Atlanta, because of reality shows such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta. According to Davis, when people encounter African-American women from Atlanta, “the first image that comes to mind is mean, gold-digging women. It has become completely evident that there has been a brand of women from Atlanta that are adverse to what most of these women are like.”
Which is why Davis is starting this campaign, “The goal is to get the spotlight off the ratchetness and on the successful women in Atlanta.”
Consequently, Davis will launch a symposium at Spelman College in March 2013, where she will engage other African-American leaders in analyzing how reality television is harming Black culture. “Bury the Ratchet” will then pool its resources into creating a public service announcement showing how young Black women feel about their depictions in the media.
But can this really help change what women think of these reality programs without removing them from the air? Davis seems confident it can.
“We want to change the minds of young women who absorb these images,” she said. “The first thing we are doing is giving them a voice.”