Shoving aside the politics of respectability: black women, reality TV, and the ratchet performance

  title={Shoving aside the politics of respectability: black women, reality TV, and the ratchet performance},
  author={Ther{\'i} Alyce Pickens},
  journal={Women \& Performance: a journal of feminist theory},
  pages={41 - 58}
  • T. Pickens
  • Published 2 January 2015
  • Art
  • Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory
This article investigates the performative strategies deployed by black female reality-television stars. Situating their performances in response to black respectability politics, this article recuperates the derogatory term “ratchet” as a performative strategy that secures a liberatory space for black women. The author looks to Tamar Braxton, background singer cum reality-TV star cum pop sensation, as an example of the potential and limitations of a ratchet performance. Her behavior suggests… 
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