When somebody reflects the hardships of slavery, they typically think solely of the treatment towards African Americans. What most people are not aware of is how women were treated, whether they were of color or not. In Harriet Jacobs book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, she explains “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women. Superadded to the burden common to all, they have wrongs, and sufferings, and mortifications peculiarly their own.” The cruel treatment towards female slaves and the struggles held by Southern women during the Civil war are disregarded by the majority of people today, even though it is a significant part of American history and still affects society. Slaveholders would often rape and impregnate their slave women, and then never let the women care for their mixed children.
In Jacobs’ experience, mistresses often felt jealous or insecure of their husbands relations to their female slaves, and because of this were absolved of any feelings of female solidarity. The lives of black female slaves were so intolerable that Jacobs felt upset at bringing another into this life, yet despite all she suffered, Harriet Jacobs’ pride as a woman and mother allowed her and her will to persevere in the face of overwhelming difficulty. As enslaved women are not quite as present to the same degree as they used to be, at least in the United States, it is not simple for a person today to gain an empathetic understanding of life as a slave woman.
Since black slave women are seen as property with no human rights they are not allowed to determine who they have sexual relations with. In Birthing a Slave, Schwartz explains how rape was discussed publically and privately in the region and how slave mothers saw forced sex, population, growth, and... ... middle of paper ... ... proved to be just as difficult for them to endure. In Birthing a Slave we can see the brutal physical side that slave women are facing during this time, but we can also see the psychological horrors that they are facing hand in hand with it. Similarly, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl gives a clear image of the trials of mental abuse that slave women are facing. With sexual abuse and fear of losing their children, slave women are being psychologically tortured and unable to achieve fulfillment in their lives.
A perspective that was relatively secretive during Jacobs’ time. Jacobs’ narrative focuses on subjugation due to race but it also portrays many women an strong and often open roles. Women in these roles were minimal and often suffered for their outspoken roles. Harriet Jacobs’ narrative is a powerful statement unveiling the impossibility and undesirability of achieving the ideal put forth by men and maintained by women. Jacobs directs her account of the afflictions a woman is subjected to in the chain of slavery to women of the north to gain sympathy for their sisters that were enslaved in the south.
Black people were seen as lesser beings in contrast to their white counterparts. However, not only are all of the colored characters within The Color Purple forced, by means of oppression, into their social positions because they are not white, but also because some of them are women, lesbian, and lower class. As Crenshaw explains, “[b]ecause of their intersectional identity as both women and of color within discourses that are shaped to respond to one or the other, women of color are marginalized within both” (Crenshaw 5). Celie, the main character in the novel, is given enormous adult responsibility from a young age. After the death of her mother, she is pulled out of school in order to... ... middle of paper ... ...in their respective Black (home) communities and the White (Georgia) dominated community they are apart of.
sparked from Sojurner Truths’ speech at the Women’s rights convention in which she touched on the topics of sexism and racism, but mainly toward black women. White claimed that black women were essentially robbed of their history when they placed in the same category as black men when it came to their experience of slavery. She argues the double burden of being a female and black ensured a different life experience for either other women or of other blacks. More than any other group of American women, black women particularly slaves, proved daily that sexual discrimination was not justified. Regardless if one was free or not black women in America experienced the worst treatment out of all the American people "Black in a white society, slave in a free society, women in a society ruled by men, female slaves had the least formal power and were perhaps, the most vulnerable group of antebellum Americans".
Slavery and the Life of Harriet Jacobs It is well known that slavery was a horrible event in the history of the United States. However, what isn't as well known is the actual severity of slavery. The experiences of slave women presented by Angela Davis and the theories of black women presented by Patricia Hill Collins are evident in the life of Harriet Jacobs and show the severity of slavery for black women. The history of slave women offered by Davis suggests that "compulsory labor overshadowed every other aspect of women's existence" (Davis 5). This is quite apparent through examination of the life of Harriet Jacobs.
There are stereotypes of black women during this time: being looked upon as sexual objects and being promiscuous. Jacobs’s attempts to resist the stereotypical images of black women are unsuccessful, even with the presence of her well respected grandmother. Women Slaves Like Frederick Douglass stated in his narrative, the women slaves were subjected to the same labor and punishments as men. But women faced more brutal treatment. Douglass shares in his narrative that he took his share of whippings.
Black female writers have become increasingly aware of the negative stereotyping and oppression suffered by black women. In an article entitled "Dear Black Man," Fran Sanders discussed the plight of the black woman in American society (73-79). According to Sanders, the black man is already seen and heard by society (73). The black woman, however, has been misrepresented throughout history by historians, novelists, and statisticians as a "castrating matriarch" (74). Sanders stated that black women have long been a "secondary consideration" in relation to other genders and races in society (74).
When Pecola says,”...they’re so many strong and soon,”she describes black people as being strong and every... ... middle of paper ... ...hange her life. The black community in the novel had to suffer oppression from white society and this seen through symbolism and internal conflict. In the 1940’s black people were discriminated against simply because of their skin color, therefore treated with no type of kindness. This oppression is still seen in today’s society with racism, not only to black people but to other people of different races too. This oppression can also be seen with discrimination against people who are different or have different views.