Humanities Institute: Resident Lecture Series – Timeka N. Tounsel

Humanities Institute: Resident Lecture Series – Timeka N. Tounsel

Timeka N. Tounsel, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Media Studies

"Marketing Dignity: The Commercial Grammar of Black Women's Empowerment"

This talk explores the system of visual and ideological elements that advertisers use to woo Black women in the contemporary Black Girl Magic era. Relying heavily on Black women marketing professionals, these multiplatform promotional campaigns work to convince their target market that an empowered lifestyle can be bolstered, celebrated, and maintained through the appropriate purchases. With a focus on Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful and Ford Motor Company’s Built Ford Proud, I probe what these campaigns signify and what they do for Black women and for the corporations that fund them. Ultimately, I interrogate whether the grammar of empowerment, merely presenting Black women as magical, yields political agency.

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