The Incredible Jessica James: Extracting the “black” from Black Femininity

Whispers of a Womanist

The Incredible Jessica James debuted to an audience eagerly awaiting its next piece of seemingly antiracist media where an bothered body occupies central placement. To most The Incredible Jessica James is a coming of age narrative where a black female twenty-something finds her way past a breakup an through her struggles as a striving artist. What is most incredible about this film is that it resumes the contemporary colorblind initiative. This contemporary initiative is not to tackle the totality of the black experience, but to move past blackness by ignoring it completely. Moreover, what is most incredible about Jessica James is despite her skin color and natural hair?there is nothing black about her. The word “black” is gracefully omitted from the film?a pattern consistent with contemporary portrayals of black people. Instead, viewers hear James reference her statuesque height quite a few times throughout the film–suggesting that it is her height…

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