Her writings brought an awareness of the system of violent racism of the South and the effects of it on the Black. “Yet writing is more than an act of bringing ourselves into existence; it also determines the way we are shaped. Women’s self-creation is influenced, impeded, constrained by language that has embedded in it the codes of patriarchal culture. For the black woman writer, the search for voice-the rescue of her subjectivity from the sometimes subtle, yet always pervasive, dictates of the dominant
In this monolitic and exclusionary feminist arena, African American women who engaged in feminist activisim, were “often expected to choose between identifying as blacks or women” (McCluskey, 1994, pg 1), at this historical momentum, the two emancipationary movements were thought to be exclusive of one another. Black feminism emerged in the effort to address the struggle of the black woman; Dorothy King perfectly condense the subversion of the current order by stating in a powerful statement in a rally: “I refuse to choose. And by that I mean I refuse to choose between being black and being a woman. Men don't have to choose. I don't know why women have to choose.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover, yet everyday people are judged just based on skin color, gender or anything else that sets them apart. Walker’s pulitzer prize winning novel “The Color Purple” talks about the struggles of an African American woman, Celie, and the journey she goes through in order to overcome the barriers of sexism to become a stronger woman and discover her independence. Similarly, “In Love and Trouble: Everyday Use” - also written by Walker - goes into a story about an African American woman, Dee, and her struggles with sibling rivalry, racial identity, and racism during a chaotic period of history. Through narrator point of view, symbolism, setting, and imagery, Walker illustrates the prominence of discrimination
Often African American women’s struggles was overlooked by the woman’s movement (Davis 64). Truth and many other African American suffragist, provided the movement with a powerful tool which the white upper-middle class woman did not possess. Powerful and outspoken Truth provided a fighting spirit as well as some degree of solidarity between the white suffragist and the women of color. The 19th amendment is a milestone in American feminist history, and the suffragists at the time has helped shape feminist thought to
She experienced racial prejudices and discrimination in Arkansas. She is known as the voice to the voiceless; her works have been viewed as production of Black culture. Angelou evokes a social change in the minds of the people through resistance. In a concise manner she explores themes such as gender, race and resistance in her works. The nature of Black resistance in her writings are mainly in two forms: artfulness resistance and active protest against racism and sexism.
Modern feminism is prevalent in movements such as “Me Too” and “Say Her Name” to diminish sexism and oppression felt on all fields. Modern feminism has been made to destroy the history of racism, homophobia and cisgender embedded principles of historical feminism. One of the most influential and intersectional feminist works are that of Audrey Lorde. In Audrey Lorde’s book, Sister Outsider she explains the sexism felt by black lesbian women and the intersectional oppressions and the lack of social acceptance. Lorde explains the homophobia she faces in the black community, the racism she feels in the LGBT community and the intense homophobia and racism embedded in
A constant comparison and contrast between Maggie and Dee is prominent structural feature of the narrative. This structural strategy helps in conceptualizing the plurality of female experience within the same milieu. This strategy encapsulates another dimension of womanism, viz., womanism refuses to treat black woman as a homogeneous monolith. Unlike feminist position, womanism is sensitive to change with time. This womanist conceptualization is shown by a nuanced destruction by Dee’s response to the quilt, which is the main metaphor in the story.
Black women faced constant sexism in the Black Liberation Movement. The movement, though ostensibly for the liberation of the black race, was in word and deed for the liberation of the black male. Freedom was equated with manhood and the freedom of blacks with the redemption of black masculinity. The lives of African-American women have been critically affected by racism, sexism and classism, which are systems of societal and psychological restriction. The racist, sexist and classist structure the American society compartmentalizes its its various ethnic groups, denigrates the colored as inferior and characterizes males and females as center and margin respectively.
The Color Purple, an epistolary novel penned by American author Alice Walker in 1982 explores several controversial themes such as gender roles, racism, sexual identity, and powerful female relationships. It opens a window for the readers to immerse themselves in a journey that emphasizes on the lives of African Americans in the Southern United States, and of destruction of African traditions in the African continent, both perspectives focusing on female’s lives in particular. The main plot revolves around the lives of two sisters, Nettie and Celie from a southern Black family and how their lives in two different continents are contradictory and the influence one sister leaves on the other that will change her life forever. The protagonist of the novel, Celie, older of the two sisters endures a life of hardship being left in the hands of an abusive stepfather and later an abusive husband. She considers herself as a black, ugly and an uneducated woman.