How Black women in the spotlight negotiate the post-racial gaze of Hollywood and beyond 

Dr. Joseph’s second book, Postracial Resistance: Black Women, Media Culture, and the Uses of Strategic Ambiguity, examines how African American women negotiate the minefield of “postracial racism.”

A fascinating study that boldly mines the complexities of racial and gender microaggressions in contemporary media, examining the many ways in which Black women culture workers and consumers have navigated said minefields. Through nuanced readings of our notoriously vexed “postracial” pop cultural landscape, and through rich explorations of Black women and their audiences, Ralina Joseph has written a necessary accompaniment to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen.
— Daphne Brooks, author of Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910
With the spectacular visibility of Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé, such a book is needed now, perhaps, more than ever. To advance conversations about the intersections of race, class, gender, media, and accomplishment, Ralina Joseph introduces us to the concept of ‘strategic ambiguity,’ one that complicates the realities of celebrity life for women of color in the wake of the ‘postracial’ condition.


— Herman Gray, author of Cultural Moves, African Americans and the Politics of Representation

Ralina L. Joseph

Ralina L. Joseph

Ralina L. Joseph, associate professor in UW’s Department of Communication and adjunct associate professor in the Departments of American Ethnic Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego and B. A. in American Civilization from Brown University.

Dr. Joseph is the founding and acting director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. She is interested in the communication of difference, or, how race, gender, sexuality and shape our world.

Her first book, Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial, critiques anti-Black racism in mixed-race African American representations in the decade leading up to Obama’s 2008 election. Listen to the interview about Transcending Blackness on Seattle’s NPR affiliate, KUOW.

Dr. Joseph is currently writing two new books. The first, Generation Mixed Goes to School: Fostering Mixed-Race Spaces in School Communities, (with Allison Briscoe-Smith, under contract with Teachers College Press), centers the perspectives of multiracial children in the creation of anti-racist schools. The second, Interrupting Privilege: A Fieldguide (with Naheed G. Aaftaab), provides both the theoretical framework and a a nuts-and-bolts guidebook to fighting back against everyday, interpersonal inequalities.

Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial

Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial

In addition, her work has appeared in The International Journal of Communication; Critical Studies in Media Communication; Communication Studies; The Black Scholar; and Communication, Culture, and Critique, and she has chapters in Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers; Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities; and Claiming a Seat at the Table: Feminism, Underserved Women of Color, Voice, and Resistance.