Andre Lyon

Intersectionality of Race, Class and Gender: The Complex Representation of Bipolar Disorder on Fox Network’s Empire.

For this study researchers specifically look into Fox Network’s Empire exploring the intersectionality of race, class, and gender.  They looked into representations of mental illnesses in television programming and argued the lack of major characters with mental illness in entertainment media by using a critical analysis method and framing their theory on the para-social relationships with audience and the way they depict characters with mental illness (Frigerio, 2017).  The study argues how empire is a “complex and problematic” representation of mental illness with one of the main characters Andre Lyons (Frigerio, 2017). Andre is the son of two major music producers, Upper class, black man who suffers from bi-polar.

I am so happy I have found an article that has a similar study intent, of lack of mental illness being portrayed in films. It shows me that there are researchers who are researching this. This study will help my research because it is a similar study, but it also gives me an idea to talk about African American representation. However, I would like to read more on their theoretical framework on “para-social relationships”. I would like to see if that could be used in my own research. I am also willing to see some of the articles they have cited to further guide my literature review.

Last week, I had the pleasure to finally meet Professor Weatherston. She is amazing. I got to talk to her about my script and my ideas of wanting to do film festivals. She had given me great insight on some websites to enter my film in and gave me advice on camera angle shots that are different and can show mental illness. She is a part of my committee; however, I do not know who to put as a chair. I am considering four committee members and I am waiting for my potential committee member, Professor Jessica Hamilton, who teaches in African American studies to get back to me. I am hoping she gets back to me soon, because I believe she fits my project perfect!


Smith-Frigerio, S. (2017). Intersectionality of Race, Class and Gender: The Complex Representation of Bipolar Disorder on Fox Networks Empire. Howard Journal of Communications, 1-16. doi:10.1080/10646175.2017.1407720



For Colores Girls Study on Mental Health

Bitch, You Must Be Crazy: Representations of Mental Illness in Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Consider Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1976),sorry for the aggression. This study examines how For Colored Girls employs Black Women and their experiences with mental illness, it also talks about the effects of a suicide crisis. Louis suggests that mental illness does not exist outside socio-historical and cultural configurations (Louis, 2013). The researcher also implies the title “For Colored Girls” with both a question and proposition and placing it into African American cultural context. Why do colored girls consider suicide? The study argues that For Colored Girls gives us the understanding of social conditions of Black women experiences in mental health and insights to treatment and prevention (Louis, 2013). The paper looks into three issues For Colored Girls considers addressing the lack of mental health within the play Interplay between social context and psychological conditions, womanhood and connections between self-reclamation and sanity (Louis, 2013).

I am excited that I have found an article that speaks on a favorite film and plays, For Colored Girls. I am still waiting for the request for the full report to get a better understanding of the study. However, it seems like it speaks to the basis of the knowledge the social conditions of Black women dealing with mental health and proves that For Colored Girl does give insight into black women experiences and treatment. The only thing that I am worried about is I am focused on films, and this is speaking on the play. For Colored Girls, the film is a bit different from the actual play. I would use this article to help me argue the need for adding black experiences with mental health, treatment and prevention can bring conversation within the Black women. I would also like to add in the studies explorations of the mental health issues I have listed above. I believe it is essential for people to understand a film like For Colored Girls first, they must be able to learn about mental illness and its various forms. That is what I am trying to prove with my film and what is discussed in this article.

I had a meeting with Kristina Devoe, and she has helped me guide my paper even further. I was having difficulties in finding articles that did not just speak on mental health being a stigma in today’s society. So maybe that is the problem, the topic of mental health in black films is not studied enough. I am now in the verge of finding articles that talk about white movies that talk about mental health such as my favorite film Girl, Interrupted, and seeing how those articles talk about the film within studies and how they define mental health. I have come across another theory, and it is a mental disability through a black feminist’s theoretical framework. I am still doing my research on that theory and defining mental disability. I am hoping to finish my literature review this Sunday and start the next sections of the draft paper.

Louis, D. M. , 2012-03-07 “Bitch You Must Be Crazy: Mental Illness and Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls (1976)” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 36th Annual National Council for Black Studies, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA 2014-11-24 from

ABW Persona

The Angry Black Woman is defined as an irate, aggressive, loud and rude woman (Kerwin, 2017). The Angry Black Woman: The Impact of Pejorative Stereotypes on Psychotherapy with Black Women by Wendy Ashley, is an article that discusses the myth of the angry Black woman which results in stereotypes that black women are known to be and could be evident in psychotherapeutic (clinical) settings and how this could lead to misinterpreted symptoms and misdiagnosis of treatment. It gives the necessary background of the Angry Black Woman persona tracing the myth back to slavery, and the lack of treatment women of color got after slavery.

I was always curious about Janet Jackson’s character in For Colored Girls. It was apparent she was characterized as the Angry Black Woman in the movie. But what caused her to act that way? Was she even angry? How do we not know that her lashing out could have been bipolar? Or she was having a bad day? That is a term that I see in most black women in films, especially films that display mental health in their characters in black cinema. I question the director’s views when they write these scripts and cast black women. I do want to talk about the ABW persona in my paper. However, I am trying to figure out how I can talk about that and stay on the topic of mental health. I do have a chapter in my film that I am dedicating to the Angry Black Woman persona. This article is helping me develop my character as well as giving me sources from their citations to look at for my paper dealing with mental health.

I worked on developing my characters for my next chapter in my film, and I am starting to write that script out. I have a goal of finishing the script and storyboards November 11th. I am also in the process of writing my outline for my paper. I am starting with the literature review. I am also taking the route to write this draft a little every day like we discuss in class. I am meeting with my Assistant Producer Anthony Lewis, and we are going to film a section from my Un-Told scene. I plan to bring this footage to practice editing for November 14th. I am so excited to shoot this, and I cannot wait.


Ashley, W. (2013). The Angry Black Woman: The Impact of Pejorative Stereotypes on Psychotherapy with Black Women. Social Work in Public Health,29(1), 27-34. doi:10.1080/19371918.2011.619449

Kerwin., A. M., Kerwin, A. M., & Marie, A. (2017, September 27). The ‘Angry Black Woman’ Makes Real Women Angry. Retrieved from