African-American Women: Understanding The Problems of Gender and Race

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African-American Women: Gender and Race Introduction African-American women have often been an overlooked group with the larger context of American Society. Historically, oppression has been meted out to the African-American woman in two ways. Historically, everything afforded to African-American, from educational and employment opportunities to health care have been sub-par. As women they have been relegated even further in a patriarchal society that has always, invariably, held men in higher regard. Throughout history black women have been referred to as “slave”, “wench”, “nigger” and “mammy” amongst other things. Her children have been referred to as “pickaninny” and “niglet”. They have been beaten, routinely raped and abused in every real and imaginable way. To further add insult to injury in “modern” day American society African American women are routinely referred to as “chicken-head”, “bitch” and downgraded to the status of “baby mama” never to be called “wife” by the very men who should be their protector but who instead choose to add to the abuse. Instead of being allowed to embrace their unique and personal beauty African-American women have been reared in a society that edifies all things non-black. Light skin and long flowing hair are exalted and as a result many African-American women have bought into this. Oftentimes African American women resort to the use of skin bleachers, wearing colored contacts, hair weaves and using chemicals that contain lye to alter the texture of their hair. Within the African-American community it is taboo for women to admit the need for help in coping with “life”. Instead many wear the proverbial mask, grin and bear it and simply try to survive. By examining the histori... ... middle of paper ... ...html Myers, D. G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill. National Womens History Museum. (2014, April 21). Retrieved from Taylor, M. (1999). Changing what has gone before: The enhancement of an inadequate psychology through the use of an Afrocentric-feminist perspective with African American women in therapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 170-179. Thomas, A., Hacker, T., & Hoxha, D. (2011). Gendered Racial Identity of Black Young Women. Sex Roles, 530-542. Utsey, S. (2000). Racial Discrimination, Coping, Life Satisfaction, and Self-Esteem Among African Americans. Journal Of Counseling & Development,, 72-80. Walton, D. (2013, October 7). Essence Magazine. Retrieved from

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