Sick and tired of being sick and tired : visual rhetorical practices of black feminist clapback.


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This thesis analyzes the discursive practices of US Vice President Kamala Harris, US Representative Maxine Waters, and US Representative Ilhan Omar. It posits Black femme style as a productive way to analyze the rhetorical performances of these political figures. Exploring a multiplicity of rhetorical performances, I identify rhetorical acts of racialized and sexualized violence directed toward these women by President Trump, while also outlining the “survival strategies” Black femme politicians have enunciated as a form of collective resistance. In so doing, I explain a Black femme style of political clapback as a rhetorical performance. The thesis examines tweets, memes and public debates. It also partially corrects the underrepresentation of Black women in the field of communication. Black femme politicians participate in a radical form of subject-making that counteracts narratives of Black political failure, spotlighting the resiliency of Black femme politicians in the era of MAGA politics.



Black feminism. Clapback. Kamala Harris. Maxine Waters. Ilhan Omar.