Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' Charisse Jones And Kumea Shorter Gooden '

Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' Charisse Jones And Kumea Shorter Gooden '

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1. Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden convey the fact that Black women in the United States still experience racism and sexism today. African American women have stereotypes and negative connotations attached to them causing them to experience oppression. In response to this, they undergo the “shifting” phenomenon where they alter themselves to fit into what society expects and wants from them. Black women undergo behavioral changes and emotional ups and downs in the face of bias. They feel stress trying to compromise their true selves. “Shifting” gives an insight of what it is like to jeopardize one’s true self in order to survive in society.
2. Black women have to live coping with the myth that Black women are somehow inferior to other people. The author presents “how difficult it is to survive in a culture that constantly stereotypes Black women as unintelligent , lazy, unmotivated, unattractive, difficult to deal with and unable to maintain a functional family” (13). They restrain their success at work because they feel guilty about their achievements at home. Black women experience subordination at work when they struggle to be hired. They also work harder than others to prove the stereotypes wrong. Yet, they get paid less for similar work and they are sometimes disregarded for promotions.
3. Racism, sexism and negative stereotypes come at a cost for African American women. They suffer psychological and physical damage from the oppression that they face. Society has placed specific Eurocentric beauty standards for women which cause Black women to feel shame and want to change their weight, hair texture, body shape and skin color. “In a society where the standard of beauty remains European, where beauty still too often ...


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...tories of insight, pain, joy, and confusion by and about African American women of diverse backgrounds and experiences are eye-opening and jaw-dropping, to say the least. This book not only opened my views to other minority groups’ struggles but it also made me realize minorities have many things in common. By being aware of the struggles of Black women, I am able to do what is in my power to avoid an environment where people feel oppressed. This book gave me a deeper perspective of what it is to experience sexism and racism. It also made me aware of the damages racism and sexism can do to people. This book does a remarkable job of raising awareness on how the lives of these women are impacted in their communities, the workplace, and other areas such as child rearing, religion, personal grooming, and even amorous relationships. “Shifting” is a reality to many people.

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