My Man Bovanne

792 Words4 Pages
Toni Cade Bambara reveals the many different labels a 1970s Brooklyn community unconsciously gives an older African-American woman. Throughout the short story, My Man Bovanne, a woman by the name of Ms. Hazel stresses that her main focus is to give back to her community. Ms. Hazel is also a mother of three and although she seems to always have good intentions, her children seem to think otherwise. The conflicting representation of Ms. Hazel through her clothes, nurturing tactics, and form of dance is evident through the way her children view her actions and the way Ms. Hazel intends to be viewed. Ms. Hazel’s children do not approve of her fashion because they do not think it is appropriate for a woman her age. In this time period women felt empowered and that they could finally be considered equal to men. They found new ways to gain attention and express themselves. The most common way was through their form of fashion, which included the infamous mini skirt. Although Ms. Hazel was not exactly young, with the dedication and desire she has toward her community, she displays an ample amount of mobility. At the party when Ms. Hazel entertains the blind man, Bovanne, her children scrutinize her about many things. They claim that she has embarrassed them and herself. Ms. Hazel makes it very clear that she has no problem with the way that she is presenting herself. She is obviously content with the route she has chosen to entertain Bovanne, and Bovanne is as well. Ms. Hazel’s son, Task, is one to approach her. He claims that his mother’s dress was too short and low-cut for “a woman her age.” As much as an independent woman she proves to be, during the time period she embraced the liberation women were given. Ms. Hazel shows unconditional affection to the elders in her community, although her community does not always approve of her tactics. She remembers
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