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The Racial Politics of Kamala Harris’s Performance Style

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The Racial Politics of Kamala Harris’s Performance Style

Harris has prompted a renewed discussion about people’s ready presumptions of sass and shade when it comes to interpreting the nonverbal gestures of a Black woman at work. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a woman of considerable power joins a man of considerable power onstage for a televised debate. The woman is cool, composed. She knows her stuff—she’s “done the homework,” let’s say. The man, meanwhile, is somehow both wicked and aloof. He lies without finesse, which doesn’t stop him from guzzling the available air time as if it’s his right. Their encounter is a Pyrrhic […]

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