The representation of black female bodies in contemporary culture rarely critique images of black female sexuality which were part of the cultural objectifying of nineteenth century racism and which still shape perceptions today. Pop culture and the media industry Plays a role in how society exemplify how imagines of black female bodies are scrutinized by the images portrayed by the culture of today. Hooks emphasize the representation and distortion stems early American slavery. In her reference to Sander Gilman’s Black Bodies White Bodies shows the way black women bodies were forced to serve as an icon for black sexuality in the 18th century. Standing on top of boxes showing their goods for consumer to see. by analyzing the case of Sarah Baartman as the quintessential Black female erotic body. The viewing of black women’s bodies as animalistic explorative and subsequent centuries of colonialism but also connects all hegemonic movements to surveillance and defining/redefining of the black female body. …show more content…
She sheds a light of how early Black feminist scholars such as Collins have been criticized for relying too heavily on colonial ideology around the black female body. Subjectively neglecting the contemporary lived experience of Black women. Critiques such as these highlights the Black female agency in the representation of the body. viewing this as a human and sexual rights or health perspective has been lending to the contemporary Black feminist debates about the representation of Black female bodies and Black eroticism within the culture of
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In Kimberly Springer’s anthology, Skin Deep, Spirit Strong: The Black Female Body in American Culture, she has different articles in the book that are written by a variety of women. The articles in the book break down and discuss areas of history and time-periods that shaped the representation and current understanding of the black female body. Many ideals of how society preserves the black female body are based on historical context, which the authors of Springer's book further explain. The two articles that I am going to focus on are Gender, Race and Nation: The Comparative Anatomy of “Hottentot” Women in Europe 1815-17 and Mastering the Female Pelvis: Race and the Tools of Reproduction.
Throughout history and in present day, there has been a large neglect of Black Women in both studies of gender and studies of race. Combating both sexism and racism simultaneously is what separates Black Women and our history and battles from both white women and black males-combined with what is discussed as a triple jeopardy- race, sex and socioeconomic status provides black women with a completely different and unique life experience when compared to, really, the rest of the world. Beverly Guy-Sheftall discusses the lack of black feminist in our history texts stating,“like most students who attended public schools and colleges during the 1950s and 1960s, I learned very little about the involvement of African American women in struggles for emancipation of blacks and women.” (Words of Fire, 23) I, too, can agree that throughout my education and without a Black Women’s Studies course at the University of Maryland I would have never been exposed to the many founding foremothers of black feminism. In this essay, I will discuss the activism, accomplishments and contributions of three of those founding foremothers-Maria Stewart, Anna Cooper, and Ida B. Wells.
Although the institutionalization of the fields of Black and Women’s Studies were still years away, the aforementioned black women, along with many others, were essential to the development of the epistemological and theoretical concepts that would later become the foundation. We can clearly see gaps in the literature in the area of Black Women’s Studies, as the writers discuss these women from the standpoint of either the Africana or Feminist Tradition. Some make mention of the intersection of racial and gendered oppression, but only in passing
*Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. "African American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race" in Feminism and History, ed. Joan Wallach Scott (NY: Oxford University Press, 1996), 201.
Warren, Nagucyalti. "Black Girls and Native Sons: Female Images in Selected Works by Richard Wright." Richard Wright - Myths and Realities. Ed. C. James Trotman. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1988.
In Deborah E. McDowell’s essay Black Female Sexuality in Passing she writes about the sexual repression of women seen in Nella Larsen‘s writings during the Harlem Renaissance, where black women had difficulty expressing their sexuality. In her essay, she writes about topics affecting the sexuality of women such as, religion, marriage, and male dominated societies. In Toni Morrison’s short story, “Recitatif” there are examples of women who struggle to express their sexuality. The people in society judge women based off their appearance, and society holds back women from expressing themselves due to society wanting them to dress/act a certain way.
The black gays’ “imitation” of the ruling-class white woman is therefore seen as a way for them to get close connections to the ruling-class white male. hooks argues that black gay drag balls ridicule, shame, and degrade women by imitating and over exaggerating not just any form of femininity, but white femininity. By “imitating” the idealized white woman persona, the black gay men are assumed to hold more power and become closer to the holy grail white male status. We see a similar “replication” of white culture in “F2MESTIZO” where a biracial transgender female to male named Logan, intentionally conceals his Mexican identity, whether it be in the public sphere or at school with his friends: “For years, [he] passed as white and made fun of [his]
Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat” is a distressing tale of human struggle as it relates to women. The story commences with a hardworking black washwoman named Delia contently and peacefully folds laundry in her quiet home. Her placidity doesn’t last long when her abusive husband, Sykes, emerges just in time to put her back in her ill-treated place. Delia has been taken by this abuse for some fifteen years. She has lived with relentless beatings, adultery, even six-foot long venomous snakes put in places she requires to get to. Her husband’s vindictive acts of torment and the way he has selfishly utilized her can only be defined as malignant. In the end of this leaves the hardworking woman no choice but to make the most arduous decision of her life. That is, to either stand up for herself and let her husband expire or to continue to serve as a victim. "Sweat,” reflects the plight of women during the 1920s through 30s, as the African American culture was undergoing a shift in domestic dynamics. In times of slavery, women generally led African American families and assumed the role as the adherent of the family, taking up domestic responsibilities. On the other hand, the males, slaves at the time, were emasculated by their obligations and treatment by white masters. Emancipation and Reconstruction brought change to these dynamics as African American men commenced working at paying jobs and women were abandoned at home. African American women were assimilated only on the most superficial of calibers into a subcategory of human existence defined by gender-predicated discrimination. (Chambliss) In accordance to this story, Delia was the bread victor fortifying herself and Sykes. Zora Neale Hurston’s 1926 “Sweat” demonstrates the vigor as wel...
Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, grandparents, pimps, prostitutes, straight people, gay people, lesbian people, Europeans, Asians, Indians, and Africans all have once thing in common: they are products of sexuality. Sexuality is the most common activity in the world, yet is considered taboo and “out of the norm” in modern society. Throughout history, people have been harassed, discriminated against, and shunned for their “sexuality”. One person who knows this all too well is activist and author, Angela Davis. From her experiences, Davis has analyzed the weakness of global society in order to propose intellectual theories on how to change the perspective of sexuality. This research paper will explore the discussions of Angela Davis to prove her determination to combat inequality in gender roles, sexuality, and sexual identity through feminism. I will give a brief biography of Davis in order for the readers to better understand her background, but the primary focus of this paper is the prison industry and its effect on female sexuality.
Detrimental stereotypes of minorities affect everyone today as they did during the antebellum period. Walker’s subject matter reminds people of this, as does her symbolic use of stark black and white. Her work shocks. It disgusts. The important part is: her work elicits a reaction from the viewer; it reminds them of a dark time in history and represents that time in the most fantastically nightmarish way possible. In her own words, Walker has said, “I didn’t want a completely passive viewer, I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn’t walk away; he would either giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful”. Certainly, her usage of controversial cultural signifiers serve not only to remind the viewer of the way blacks were viewed, but that they were cast in that image by people like the viewer. Thus, the viewer is implicated in the injustices within her work. In a way, the scenes she creates are a subversive display of the slim power of slave over owner, of woman over man, of viewed over
“The Tripartite Plight of African-American Women as Reflected in the Novels of Hurston and Walker.” Journal of Black Studies 20.2 (December 1989): 192-207. Hui, Fung-mei, Sandra. “Race and Gender in the Works of Maxine Hong Kingston, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison.” Diss.
In the novel “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, we are supplied an expanded interpretation of how “whiteness” is the standard of beauty, which twists the lives of African American women and children. The theme of race and that white skin is considered superior is portrayed through stories told by the characters, especially Pecola and her family. There’s a wide spread of sexual violence within the novel suggesting that racism, poverty and white supremacy aren’t the only things that distort African American women’s perception of themselves. Through the struggles they have encountered, Morrison shows us the catastrophic effect of this idea of white beauty on black individuals and on society. Poverty is an issue faced all over our country.
African American women writers and thinkers are one of those Postcolonial groups that have asserted their voices and experiences in a world, which has denied them the right to exist. The Patriarchal fathers have silenced women from even the dominant communities into submission, so it was nothing new for Black women to be muted for centuries together by the all powerful white patriarchal powers. Black women have been facing oppression on more than one count. There has been covert resistance and resentment from these women, which have been beautifully depicted in the 2012 movie The Help, but it was only in the late 60’s and early 70’s when Black women overtly came to forefront with the establishment of The National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO).