Understanding the role the women played in the slave trade and community is important to offer a new dynamic to the study of slave culture in general. Not only were slave women subordinate because of race but they also shared the trials of the oppression of the female gender. Women slaves played a key role in the development of slave communities through the development of African Sexuality, Family Structure and Economic Productivity. It is therefore infinitely important that we must understand the slave trade from a female perspective to understand the development of these slave communities. A- African Sexuality The African female was ascribed not only economic responsibilities when purchased as a slave.
By making a reader empathize with the central character’s passion, this made the reader feel impassioned as well, and was therefore an effective method to raise awareness about an issue at hand. In fact, Harriet Beecher Stowe, a dedicated abolitionist and teacher at Hartford Female Seminary, used Romanticism in her anti-slavery novel to counteract the notion held by society in the nineteenth century that African American slaves were not capable of feeling emotions. Her novel was largely effective as it created an uproar in the South, swayed moderates to become abolitionists, and was
Plantation Mistress: Woman’s World in the Old South by Catherin Clinton takes a stab at deflating the common myth that women in the south were “chivalrous cavaliers and belles in hoop skirts” (xi). The majority of literature focused on plantation life is placed on the planters themselves, Clinton wants to redirect that focus to the women on the plantations. Her work is centered on the women of higher status, those living on plantations with twenty or more slaves, and their experiences. Clinton makes the argument that Southern white women experienced an oppression parallel to that of the slave class because of the patriarchal system. It is a far stretch to compare the lives of white women to the suffering endured by the slave class.
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop are two tales of tenacity. Both poems are centered around failure, and were both written by influential, American, female poets, in the 1970s. However, they are two very different perspectives of failure, and two separate kinds of oppression. Elizabeth Bishop writes about an emotional oppression, and the belief that becoming upset can hold people down, and says that not emotional disasters will stop her. Maya Angelou writes about a more literal oppression, as an African American woman of the time period, and her perseverance.
Harriet Jacobs was a freeborn African American woman, who wrote a narrative called, The Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. She was the first woman author to write a slave narrative. She is an African American writer who escaped from slavery. Being a slave in the South was probably the most horrific event that men and women had to go through. In her novel she introduces herself as a young child, who is six years old.
Fighting the Hate of Beauty Toni Morrison is an author who loves to write about black experiences. She published her first book in 1970 were racism was still a big topic. In her novel she like to give people an idea of what the daily struggle it is to be an African American. Morrison is one of the best authors that portrays a struggle in society because she is never scared to write the truth. Some of Morrison works are very vivid to really illustrate the whole picture she paints through the novel.
Having been very integral Black Feminism was a popular subject during the eras of slavery and post slavery, but it was brought to the public by black authors who had a first hand account of the dangers anomaly.. In Zora Neale Hurston’s semi-autobiographical novel
Carmicheal, and you just didn’t get it!” (Page 9-10, line 223-225). She ends the question with an exclamation mark instead of a question mark, to emphasize her rhetorical question. We can see a little bit of irony as well from that quote. Slave ancestry is one of the main theme Levy focus on in the essay, as well as pride. It started by a woman, who shamed another woman by being a descendant of a slave, which inspired Levy to write her book “The Long Song”.
Toni Morrison: The Woman of Racial Justice When an individual looks back on the Civil Rights Movement, they often remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcom X; but what about Toni Morrison? As the 1940s continued to perpetuate the idea of a divided America through segregation and racial violence, Toni was beginning to speak out through her works as a writer. Toni Morrison, who was born as Chloe Anthony Wofford, proved to be a strong supporter of the “Black is Beautiful” campaign and became an active voice for black men and women whose goal was to bring about change in a time of injustice. By including themes of racial pride, beauty, racism, and even bildungsroman in her novel, The Bluest Eye, she was and is still able to engage her readers
Kate Chopin’s novel, The Awakening have made a chaos back in the late 1890’s when it was first published where women were starting to demand for their rights and was the beginning of the feminine movement. The Awakening is story that revolves around a rebellious woman which is the main protagonist, Edna Pontellier which have gone through an aberration against the Creole society of how women should behave and think. The story is known for how Chopin have developed the way the characters mindsets and behavior which are two elements that influenced Edna and ascended to the ending. Chopin introduced her characters in a clear almost predictable way. And by the way she introduced them she also introduced the idea of living in a Creole society.
The novel, Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs, is a powerful novel of a slave girl who would do anything for the freedom of herself and her two children. Jacobs wrote this novel to bring awareness of slavery to Northerner especially to women. Jacobs used the pen name Linda Brent to compiled her lives as a slave to bring and show the reality of slavery; the cruelty, the physical violence, the separation of families, the sexual relationship between master and slave, the psychological abuse, the danger of escaping from bondage.
In the novel titled, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Jacobs, wanted to write about her experiences as a slave and how she managed to escape from slavery. This novel can be entitled to many themes, but the theme that touched me the most was about all the slave women and how they were treated. I think that Jacobs emphasized how for slave women the situation was the worst because they were always viewed as sex objects. I believe that Harriet Jacobs thought that women were expected to obey their masters all the time and had so much responsibilities to do. Jacobs gave reference to all of this by providing her life events; for example when Dr. Flint told her, “you deserve it… to be under such treatment… forget the meaning of the word peace.”
Feminist Harriet Jacobs was a slave in the antebellum period who became the first women to author a slave narrative in the United States. Like many slaves during this time, experienced sexual exploitation from their owners. They were considered nothing more than chattel. Being exposed to these conditions women could not live virtuous lives. How could the beating of any human being be of God?