On Black Sister Street Analysis

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One common recurring topic that I saw at the symposium was the treatment of bodies, specifically those of black women. Both Dr. Imo Imeh of Westfield State University and Professor Kimberly Brown of Mount Holyoke College focused their essays on how the bodies of black women are regarded. Professor Mazen Naous also touched upon the representation of a woman’s body in his essay, though this woman is of an Arab ethnicity. Dr. Imo Imeh studied a tradition in Nigeria known as mbopo. During this time, girls are put into seclusion for a couple of months. They experience a spiritual and physical purification that allows them to enter into womanhood. While they are participating in this ritual the girls are slowly fattened to make them more appealing for future suitors. Additionally, the girls have older women paint on their skin and, with each stroke of a line, a new idea is learned. This ceremony shows that these women are unable to enter womanhood without modification. Their bodies are seen as unfit for a more mature life. In addition to his discussion of the mbopo ceremony, Dr. Imeh examined the representation of black bodies in the United States throughout the early twentieth century. There was a children’s story published…show more content…
Imeh and Professor Brown’s essays tie in extremely well with Chika Uniqwe’s On Black Sister Street. This novel focuses on the life of sex workers whose bodies are constantly exploited. Many of these characters happen to be black women. Unfortunately, there are similarities between sex workers today and black women in the early twentieth century. The exploitation of sex workers’ bodies is the main concept of the industry. Similar to the children in the shooting game, the women’s bodies are used as a form of entertainment. The only difference is that these women are real people. The abuse that these women face is undermined because of their occupation, comparable to Zayam’s disregarded abuse for the sole reason that she is a
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