Document Type


Date of Award



School of Communication (SOC)

Degree Name

MA in Communication

First Advisor

J. W. Ward


For decades white writers, producers and directors have controlled African American sitcoms and they decide what information is decimated to the public about African Americans. The perceptions of white writers, producers, and directors of African Americans have filtered racial misconceptions harming the African American community. Previous research shows that African Americans have been portrayed as clowns, servants, and buffoons in African American sitcoms, thus creating negative stereotypes. This study researches behavior and the language used in African American sitcoms and the affect they have on the professional African American woman in the workplace and in public settings. One hundred and thirty-four professional African American women were surveyed to conduct the research. The study found that professional African American women have encountered non-African Americans using Ebonies, African American Vernacular, Black Speak or 1 2 "black street slang" to communicate with them in a professional setting, as well as public settings. Although a major of the women surveyed graduated from college or received post professional degrees and speak Standard English in the workplace they have been offend by non-African Americans who have changed their dialect to communicate with them. To increase the validity of the present study, the researcher should include a focus group and open the study up to African American men and non-African Americans