In the November issue of Essence, the magazine published a study on how black female audiences viewed their counterparts on the big and small screens.
Unsurprisingly, the results were dispiriting. The 1200 respondents reported seeing twice as many negative portrayals of black women as positive ones, with most images of black women falling into one of a handful of stereotypes: "Gold Diggers, Modern Jezebels, Baby Mamas, Uneducated Sisters, Ratchet Women, Angry Black Women, Mean Black Girls, Unhealthy Black Women, and Black Barbies."
In response, Essence is encouraging filmmakers to counter those demeaning images by creating their own in the form of a short film competition. Submissions should feature "an image of a Black woman in a unique, refreshing way" in twenty minutes or less.
The winner will be chosen by Essence editors, Scandal showrunner Shonda Rimes, and Southland actress Regina King and feted at the 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon on February 27, 2014.
The deadline is December 5, 2013.