Many of the stereotypes associated with black women have a history with slavery, such as the idea of them being mammies, or the notion of the bad black woman. This is connected to W. E. B. Du Bois’ idea of the double consciousness. The term describes the internal conflict that members of subordinate groups have while in an society that still oppresses them. It is the idea that a person looks at themselves through the eyes of the racist society that they are in (Du Bois, 1903).
An expansion of this is the black women and problems faced by them in the name of race and ethnicity. In this paper we are going to briefly compare the literary works of Nadine Gordime, “Country Lovers”, and Patricia Smith's, “What it's like to be a Black Girl”. The comparison of African American literary works “Country Lovers”, and “What it's like to be a black girl” dates back to the late eighteenth century. The writings of both the poets strictly tend to focus on the issues
Black women living in the United States leading up to and during the civil rights era were unable to express themselves due to the closed minds of white America. In the essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” Alice Walker goes into great detail about the oppressions of African American women who were forced to endure not only racism and sexism, but classism as well. Walker goes on to talk about how spirituality is the only tool they had that could not be taken away. This was kept alive through folklore and anything else they could get a hold of that helped them to escape reality. Within the essay Walker speaks of several different instances of women before and during her time that were visionaries of indescribable proportions.
Blues Legacies and Black Feminism by Angela Y. Davis Undoubtedly, Angela Davis epitomizes what millions of African American men and women have long felt about the never ending oppressed conditions that exist for them in America. Davis, one of the founding mothers of the radical 60’s and 70’s black feminist and civil rights movement, usher into the 20th century a buried and overlooked oppression that many black woman experienced at the end of racial slavery that cannot continue to go unnoticed. In her book, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday, Davis attempts to breakdown the wall barriers of gender oppression by examining the sexuality and lyrics of three iconic women of the blues; challenging the “mainstream ideological assumptions regarding women being in love… and the notion that women’s place was in the domestic sphere” Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (pg.11). But before discussing the works of Angela Y. Davis it would be injustice not to discuss the woman, herself, and the many accomplishments as-well-as trials and tribulation she has overcome. Angela Davis was born January 6, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama to two highly educated parents, both of whom where educators themselves.
Compare the way that Williams and Walker present the relationships between women. How far do you agree that Williams’ presentation is a more realistic one? In The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, who wrote her novel in post-civil rights America as a Black, middle class woman and having had family and friends of which lived in the era that she writes of in her novel, we see the main character, Celie, undergo many hardships due to her ethnicity, class and gender. However, she is not alone in suffering from this “triple jeopardy” as other characters such as Shug, Sofia, Squeak, etc., are all in the same situation as Celie, and throughout the novel, we see their friendships, and even romantic relationships develop significantly. In A Streetcar Named Desire however, we only see a maximum of three female relationships, between the characters of Stella, Blanche and Eunice.
In Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby” she attempts to show the racial ideologies that were prevalent in her day. She does this by not only implementing a shocking twist into her story but by using very subtle clues that can be found upon close study. By comparing the circumstances in her character’s lives before and after they become “aware” of their own or other’s racial heritage, Chopin points out that blacks were seen as an unhappy, miserable people and that only among whites can true happiness be found. Chopin creates these differences by using imagery and descriptions to stereotype both the blacks and whites in her story. While examining the circumstances surrounding Desiree’s life after she “becomes” black we can see Chopin’s genius at work.
Black women have played an important part in African American literature since the beginning when the slaves being brought to America started developing their own culture. African American women not only have to deal with the being degraded for being black, but they also have to deal with being degraded because they are women. They found strength through writing, and let the public know that being a women was hard, and being black in America made it even more rough. In the poem “Poem About My Rights” by June Jordan, and “The Slave Mother” by Frances E. W. Harper, these struggles that African American women had to deal with were pointed out. While these two poem were written in two separate time periods, they both deal with the same issues,
Race and Ethic in our Society Gertrude Perkins ENG125: Introduction to Literature Instructor: Paul Wiltz July 2, 2012 Race and Ethics in our Society Racism and Ethics in “Country Lovers” and “What it’s Like to be a Black Girl” both of these reading are told by a young black girl who have struggled with being discriminated against them. Both of these girls deal with discrimination on their lives because they are black. Whereas “Nadine Gordimer” and “Patricia Smith” in “Country Lovers” and “What it’s like to be a Black Girl” reveal the themes of race and ethnicity versus ethics to underscore the meaning of discrimination. Each author also uses themes of gender role and growing up to argue the ideas of a person’s role in to society. Racism is something that people deal with daily.
ntroduction The theme I chose to write about for my paper was race/ethnicity. For the literary works, I will compare and contrast “What It's Like To Be A Black Girl” by Patricia Smith who is African-American and “Child Of The Americas” by Aurora Morales who is Latino. Being born in America, an important fact for both because minorities in the United States have experienced racism and prejudice for years compared to other countries. The stories tell about two young women who are both from different cultures and beliefs. The poems deal with racism ans discrimination.