Buy Black

How Black Women Transformed US Pop Culture
Author: Aria S. Halliday
Black women’s impact on consumption and culture from the 1960s to today
Cloth – $110
Paper – $24.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 04/26/2022
Cloth: 04/26/2022
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About the Book

Buy Black examines the role American Black women play in Black consumption in the US and worldwide, with a focus on their pivotal role in packaging Black feminine identity since the 1960s. Through an exploration of the dolls, princesses, and rags-to-riches stories that represent Black girlhood and womanhood in everything from haircare to Nicki Minaj’s hip-hop, Aria S. Halliday spotlights how the products created by Black women have furthered Black women’s position as the moral compass and arbiter of Black racial progress.

Far-ranging and bold, Buy Black reveals what attitudes inform a contemporary Black sensibility based in representation and consumerism. It also traces the parameters of Black symbolic power, mapping the sites where intraracial ideals of blackness, womanhood, beauty, play, and sexuality meet and mix in consumer and popular culture.

About the Author

Aria S. Halliday is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Program in African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky.


"A compelling analysis of the role American Black women have played in consumerism and popular culture, focusing on the 1960s to now. " --Business Insider

"Important and accessible, Dr. Halliday’s latest book expertly examines Black women as cultural producers and consumers and their subsequent, undeniable influence on popular culture. " --Ms. Magazine

"Halliday's courageous and informative concentrations will help shape a new understanding of underrepresented Black women and girls. She has much to offer as a powerful thinker and scholar." --New York Amsterdam News

"The book's clear, accessible prose and pop culture subject matter will appeal to both lay readers and scholars who want to explore Black joy, creativity, and entrepreneurship in American culture. . . . Recommended." --Choice

"Aria S. Halliday's recently published book, Buy Black: How Black Women Transform US Popular Culture, offers an innovative set of case studies that are analytical in approach and crafted methodically. As Halliday explains, the identities of Black girls and women have been the inspiration for countless products and practices that involve human experiences of Blackness" --Journal of Popular Culture


Buy Black offers an important and well-argued consideration of the Black women cultural producers who, in an effort to subvert a misogynoiristic system, sometimes traffic in the very stereotypical practices they wish to upend. Halliday’s concept of ‘embodied objectification’ helps to make clear our own investments in consumer capitalism and prompts us to be more circumspect about our participation as a means to some ultimately unsatisfying end.”--Moya Bailey, author of Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance

"In focusing on Black women as culture-makers, the book provides a uniquely important view as to the ways that Black women's ingenuity and entrepreneurship have been largely overlooked in understanding these questions. I was consistently impressed with the author's ability to cast a wide net that moves across many topics, while keeping it all held together so that the shape and fit seem right."--Elizabeth Chin, author of My Life with Things: The Consumer Diaries

"A brilliant and meticulously researched exploration of how ideas about representing blackness have been essential to the story of American consumerism and popular culture. In uncovering how Black women have transformed corporate discourses of multiculturalism and diversity by inserting their own imaginations, capabilities, and desires, Buy Black provides an extraordinary feminist reading of the role of race, gender, and class in the American consumer product industry. Aria Halliday’s book is essential reading."--Mireille Miller-Young, author of A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography