Racquel J. Gates

is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. She received her PhD from Northwestern University’s department of Screen Cultures, and holds an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago as well as a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She is the author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture.

"By questioning how media representations are deemed negative, Racquel J. Gates explodes the idea of privileging ‘good’ texts over less desirable ones."

- Bambi Haggins, author of Laughing Mad: The Black Comic Persona in Post-soul America
Laci Jordan @ New York Times

Laci Jordan @ New York Times


Racquel’s work appears in both academic as well as popular publications, some of which include The New York Times, The Root, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Film Quarterly, Television & New Media.




Racquel has spoken widely on the subject of black identity in popular culture, film, and television. View a calendar of upcoming and past events here.


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Double Negative

Racquel examines the generative potential of so-called negative images of African-Americans in popular culture, showing how some of the most disreputable representations can strategically pose questions about blackness in ways that more ‘respectable’ ones cannot