The 1920’s is traditionally viewed as an era for the freedom of sexual identity, but some critics such as Elise McDougald, argue that such freedoms raised unforeseen dangers for African American women (Monda 24) since being sexual was directly linked to satisfying racist notions (Scheper 682). In the eyes of white America, the African American ethnicity was teeming with ghosts of “barbarism” (Dawahare 23) that bled directly into the sexual lives of African American women, creating a racist expectation that all African American women are sexually “hypersexual, primitive, exotic, and always available.” In Larsen’s Quicksand, Helga Crane struggles with this racist and sexist “primitive” expectation (Scheper 682) as she attempts to explore her
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The article Bloody Terrain: Freedwomen, Sexuality and Violence during Reconstruction was written by Catherine Clinton, who is a teacher in the Afro-American Studies Department at Harvard University. In her article, she addresses the mistreatment of freedwomen during the period of Reconstruction as well the legal injustice inflicted upon them. This article was to inform the reader of these transgressions and represent the full history of the Reconstruction period. Within this article are some of the few memoirs of freedwomen and their mistreatments, revealing the true injustice of this period.
There’s no doubt in history that the slave life was the worst fate one could be born into. Even the Southern women, though deeply racist, hated slavery and the paternalism that went with it. Linda Brent in Harriet Jacobs’ account of her life in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl retells the stories of how Linda/Harriet grew up, bounced from mistress to master, learned hard life lessons, and eventually found “freedom.” Meanwhile, Barbara Welter’s article The Cult of True Womanhood shows the values that a Northern free woman held dearly when left to be a “slave” of virtue. An analysis of Welter’s article as well as Harriet Jacobs’ biography of her pseudonym shows how Linda Brent desperately wanted to fulfil the expectations of a white woman,
Nella Larsen, one of the major woman voices of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, when many African American writers were attempting to establish African–American identity during the post-World War I period. Figures as diverse as W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, A. Philip Randolph and Jessie Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston along with Nella Larsen sought to define a new African American identity that had appeared on the scene. These men and women of intellect asserted that African Americans belonged to a unique race of human beings whose ancestry imparted a distinctive and invaluable racial identify and culture. This paper aims at showcasing the exploration of African American ‘biracial’ / ‘mulatto’ women in White Anglo Saxon White Protestant America and their quest for an identity with reference to Nella Larsen’s Quicksand.
I find that this example highlights the fact that while women had far less political power in society during the nineteenth century, the least the law could do was to protect the sexual integrity of women; However, African American women suffered from racial, gender and class discrimination that makes it difficult for them to prosecute those that sexually assault them. Furthermore, anger of white men were usually taken out on the wives of freed African American men and usually in the form of sexual assaults and this made the situation for African American women
The recognition of African cultural legacy is a fundamental element so as to comprehend black identity and its rich culture, and Paule Marshall, as an American of African descent, is keen on “showing Black characters that boldly fight white supremacy in a positive light, in an attempt to help liberate her readers, at a personal level, from believing negative images about Blacks”(Fraser, 2012: 527). The author’s fiction evidently goes hand in hand with politics in the pursuit to bring consciousness, acknowledgment and assimilation among Black cultures in the West. Paule Marshall’s Praisesong for the Widow is an influential novel which sketches the internal journey that the main character undergoes so as to reconnect with her long-lost roots and eventually her coming to terms with the fact that she is part of the African diasporic community. Thus, my essay will examine how Avey Johnson’s spiritual
Is drag is an object which casts a dense and expansive shadow from which implications of existing on the marginalised periphery of mainstream culture can be discerned? In this essay I seek to explore the motives and outcomes of drag, in Jennie Livingston’s documentary film Paris is Burning (1991), which records the activities of gay and transgender black and latino men aligned with the Harlem underground drag-ball circuit.
The sexual revolution took off in the 1960s. It was a movement that changed traditional behaviors related to sexuality and personal relationships. Many celebrities were involved in the movement, such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Previous to the sexual revolution, sexual things were kept quiet. Nobody talked of anything sexual and the media, such as radio and television, also kept very quiet about anything sexual.
Helga Crane, the main character in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand, struggles to find her place and happiness in a world that is separated by black and white. Helga is a mulatto and doesn’t seem to identify with one particular race or the other; she just wants to be accepted. She finds this happiness and acceptance, or so she thinks she has, when she marries Reverend Mr. Pleasant Green and bears his children. Her continual struggle to resist conformity leads her into the traditional role of wife and mother, two roles that she cannot escape. For years, Helga Crane struggled to find happiness.
When I did the quick research of sexual morality moralities of the two eras, the Victorian Era and 1960s, it is significant that these two eras hugely have dissimilarities, and the young generation in 1960s became more opened-minded, and then, people had more and more sexual freedom. This is due to the fact that, in the Victorian Era, most people significantly could not access homosexual sexuality, masturbation and premarital sex, yet the majority of people in 1960s initiated to have sexual liberation - homosexuality was legalized, and masturbation became no longer moral issues. One of the reasons why the sexual morality in 1960s was transformed, for the people became more opinionated creatures unlike Victorian era - Victorian grandpas and grandmas were ignorant. For example, it was more common that there was no sexual liberation (prostitution and premarital sex) in the Victorian era because the people had the sexual oppression views on women, and kept the double - standard which means the ancestors came from lower socioeconomic class did not have the chance to be the higher socioeconomic class. However in the 1960s, each person views on sexuality involved into the openness, and prostitution was legalized in France, England, and other Western countries.
Her unsuppressed sexuality produces the appearance of a wild and uncontrolled woman, but in her relations with men she proves to be tamed and submissive. She is used, and often abused, by her powerful lovers, firstly, the colonial representative, the Englishman who fathered her child, and, secondly, the new neocolonial delegates: the General and the tycoon. For the renowned movie star, these men were “all the same… Carrying around her used panties as if they were a fetish, like a piece of her they had carved off, like her skin” (Hagedorn,226). Sex, for her, is the means of support, it provides her with luxury and she willingly accepts the price she has to pay in return.
It is just a utopian vision, yet it encourages the hope for a better future for an ethnic minority. Through Celie’s wondrous transformation, African American women - past, present, and future—can envision a better world in which to live. Lesbian relationship leads Celie to self-realization, finding her personal identity, and, as a result, she realizes herself as a woman with dignity. Thanks to this relationship she learns about her sexuality and inner power, at once she feels respect for herself. In such a way of discovering own body, for the first time Celie clearly understands the natural beauty of her body.
She was influenced by the ideologies of women’s liberation movements and she speaks as a Black woman in a world that still undervalues the voice of the Black woman. Her novels especially lend themselves to feminist readings because of the ways in which they challenge the cultural norms of gender, slavery, race, and class. In addition to that, Morrison novels discuss the experiences of the oppressed black minorities in isolated communities. The dominant white culture disables the development of healthy African-American women self image and also she pictures the harsh conditions of black women, without separating them from the oppressed situation of the whole minority. In fact, slavery is an ancient and heinous institution which had adverse effects on the sufferers at both the physical as well as psychological levels.
It also describes the issues of black’s exclusion from the “unproblematic recreational enjoyment of nature” (189). She is looking at the problems of black in general and black women in particular. Her autobiographical touch unveil the historical legacy of institutionalized racial oppression. She says, she was afraid of going out and experience of being in nature. She feels unsafe because there are chances of getting raped.
He kidnapped, raped and killed women. Rather than considering him a man with an unsound mind, I firmly believe that such action on his part can be attributed to deep racial hatred and a conviction that sexual desire of men are paramount and can override the willingness of women to engage in the sexual act. Russell, according to me, in these chapters states that ‘femicide’ is a phenomenon that targets women but arises mostly out of racial hatred towards immigrants and thus the issue has a political connotation. Reading her case studies brings me to observe that women who belong to the African-American are more prone to ‘Objectification’ simply because of the stereotype that the Blacks were considered