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Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought

Disciplines

Communication | Gender and Sexuality | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Race and Ethnicity

Abstract

An analysis of mainstream and black press coverage of Eartha Kitt’s January 1968 White House dissent on the Vietnam War is presented. Of particular interest is the way journalists constructed Kitt’s dissent for their audiences within intersecting discourses of gender and race. Findings reveal that mainstream journalists tended to undermine Kitt’s dissent by representing her within a gendered racial binary that denied her access to definitions of true womanhood. At the same time, despite presenting more explicit sexual objectification of the actress, journalists in the black press allowed her dissent legitimacy, challenging mainstream discourses.