The Female In The African-American Community

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Role of the female in the African-American community
The first major role-change for females in the African-American community occurred in 1619, when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, to aid in the production of such profitable crops as tobacco (History, “Slavery In America”). Slavery was practiced right through in the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The African female was attributed not only economic responsibilities when purchased as a slave. Sexual duties and childbearing were of primary importance to the plantocracy and white men were bewilderingly drawn to the ‘foreign charms’ of
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Delicate and sensitive, she passively suffers the abuse of her mother, father, and classmates. She is a symbol of the black community’s self-hatred and belief in its own ugliness. Others in the community, including her mother and father, act out their own self-hatred by expressing hatred towards her. Pecola’s desire for blue eyes comes from her stereotypical perception that as a black female, she needs to look beautiful to be treated beautifully. 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. Thereon from slave communities,…show more content…
The role of the female in the African-American community is inevitably influenced by their physical appearance. As, historically, physical beauty was an easy way out for women in slave communities to reduce hard labor and focus more heavily on easier tasks such as childbearing and sexual duties, this “tradition” carried on to the 20th century in which the ugly population always had a handicap in the way they were treated not only by other communities but also by their own communities. The roles have changed drastically since the years of slavery, but the concept remained the same. African-American women with higher beauty standards obtained higher roles in their
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