A mammy, as defined by Mirriam-Webster University, is “a black woman serving as a nurse to white children especially formerly in the southern United States.” However, in modern viewpoints, the title of “Mammy” is considered a racial slur. According to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, the Mammy caricature “portrayed an obese, coarse, maternal figure. She had great love for her white "family," but often treated her own family with disdain. Although she had children, sometimes many, she was completely desexualized. She "belonged" to the white family, though it was rarely stated.
The first female African-American to win the Eunice Prize and the Pulitzer Prize, Gwendolyn Brooks made a big impression on America, (Shor 2006). She was an amazing poet who “committed herself to black pride”, (Shor 2006). As Brooks was an outcast due to her lack of social skills and race, she found comfort in writing poems that correlated her nationality, (Kent 1990). As a result of this, Gwendolyn Brooks grew up and saw the cruel outside world. In her poetry she writes with some humor about the stereotypes of the poor blacks, and the devastating consequences that the racist world sprung upon her ethnicity.
Moreover, revenge also showcases her racism towards African Americans. The relentless nature of her revenge stems from her ideology that black people are unworthy. Hilly feels as though Aibileen was disrespectful to have provoked her since she and her people are so, in her mind, less than and “they carry different kinds of diseases than she does".
She believes that being granted the blue eyes that she wishes for would change both how others see her and what she is forced to see. The reasoning behind this approach lies beyond the 20th century, in the 19th century in fact, when slavery peeked and the African-American women were forced to be beautiful in order to gain what seemed like their freedom. Victoria Chihos demonstrates this concept in her article, The Role of Woman in Slave Communities, by writing: “Many viewed black female’s lack of modesty as a sign of their impaired moral nature and increased sex drive. The view of the African female as a manipulating temptress thus emerged and it was believed that she used it to her advantage to achieve favours and obtain prestige” (Chihos, “The Role of Women in Slave Communities”). In this excerpt, the sexuality of women is described to be advantageous in many instances.
The people who make up society tend to overlook the reality of what the world once was and what it continues to be. To Kill a Mockingbird is not just a novel that tells a story of what a young girl’s life was like as a child, but also tells the story of the violations of humanity. Mayella Ewell, a white woman, kissed Tom Robinson, a black man. Feeling ashamed of her actions, she accused him of rape. Because he was a black man accused of rape, he was found guilty and sentenced to death in prison.
His peers viewed his works as an “unattractive” portrayal of black life (“Langston Hughes”). Nevertheless, Hughes continued to produce more poems and novels and went on to become one of the most famous authors of the Harlem Renaissance period. Although black people were placed at the bottom of the social totem pole, women of all races were still discriminated against and still faced hardship. So Zora Neale Hurston (black and a woman) had to work twice as hard to be acknowledged in the world of art. Hurston was dedicated to her craft.
However, despite their aggressive action for reform, women were frequently hindered as their rights were stripped and their positions were taken for granted. African American women were bound to the institution of slavery, which continued to prevail as a prominent condition of society as the colonies entered the Civil War. Married white women were bound to their husbands by colonial law; their treatment was more humane than African American women, but their rights were still limited by the system. Between the 18th century and the 19th century, the ideology of American womanhood experienced changes which would become crucial to the founding and expansion of the Women’s Rights Movement beginning in 1848.
Boyd goes on to argue that black women who faced joblessness and resource disadvantage were no doubt motivated by their desperate circumstance to become independently employed. He does not do a good job of crediting the responsibility of the black woman as Mae C. King did in”Oppression and Power: The Unique Status of the Black Woman in the American Political System.” King mentioned the social structure of the political system unlike the Boyd. The method Boyd used in this article is loading the article with information that pertains to the topic instead of expounding on why the labor movement motivated black women to work for themselves. He made sure the outlined the different
De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.” (31) Nanny believes that the black female is as hapless as a mule when it comes to subjugation. This is demonstrated by Janie’s forced marriage to Logan Killicks, a middle-aged farmer. Janie thinks she has no choice but to marry him, much like a mule has no choice about who its owner is. She is then forced to work like a mule by Logan, who desires a partner in the field. The incident of the “town mule”, when Jody “rescues” Matt Bonner’s mule (p 55-62), is more than just a humorous moment in the book.
Women in this time were expected to be pure and pias. Women also did not plage a huge role in how history was being written. Black women specifically were double oppressed due to the fact that they were a woman and black. Distinctions that Zinn cited between white and black female oppression were obviously the racial bias, and the class condition and class bias. Women have always been held behind men in society but as a black women you were extra behind.
Organizations like the Combahee River Collective and some great figures like Assata Shakur, Audre Lorde, Bell Hooks, and Jesse Jackson didn’t only inform about the struggles of the they accompanied, but also the action they proposed to overcome those struggles. Combahee River Collective organization emphasized the theme oppression or injustice, especially in the Black feminism. According to the Combahee Collective organization, “The fact that racial politics and indeed racism are pervasive factors in our lives did not allow us, and still does not allow most black women, to look more deeply into our own experiences and define those things that make our lives what they are and our oppression specific to us”, it can be inferred that, oppression wasn’t just a new issue, but it was effecting the lives of the black women even from the beginning. Talking about oppression, Combahee River Collective specifically