In a town overrun by white supremacists, Eva Johnson is a naive foreigner who is determined to make a living regardless of if she is welcome or not. Eva Johnson’s journey comes to an unfortunate end as Winburn ‘Win’ Forrest’s lack of morals and respect is ultimately the cause of her death. Through the Characters of Florence, Eva, and Win Forrest we are introduced to the cultural influences of their time and how racial discrimination plays a major role in shaping our morals. Up until the mid 1960’s, racial discrimination and segregation was a serious problem in the southern United States, especially in the closeted towns of Mississippi. Though each state handled the ‘problem’ differently, the idea was simple- good white christian folk were, and always will be better than their African-American counterparts and should be separated as such.
It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” The hate and the hardships that she has endeavored only further strengthen her writing. She even received awards and was well known throughout her education. “Hurston was the first black scholar to research folklore on the level that she did.” Although this is true everyone has bad days and the hate and struggles did affect her life she was very poor, “Throughout most of her life she struggled with poverty despite her hard work.” This is still shown in today's society where life among African Americans and Caucasians is significantly different whether we want to admit it or not.
I believe this is the theme because just by reading the title of her poem; “Still I Rise” i can tell its about a person who has faced many difficulties and has been ridiculed many times throughout her life and instead of giving up she decides to stay strong and continue to stand up even though the world is trying to push her down. Also another reason why i believe the theme of her poem is, “to never give up” because of her history. Maya Angelou is a Black- American who was born in the year of 1928. she has been discriminated throughout her life only being judged by the colour of her skin. Just as how Harriet Tubman was a black- Canadian who helped many slaves through the use of the underground railway as a escape path back to their native land, she has also suffered being discriminated by the use of words and in further cases, being abused. In that era African- American women were treated brutally and were always being pushed down and were not even treated like humans.
During Edward Donleavy’s, a white politician, speech, Angelou’s mind filled with negative lies about herself and others. Angelou thought, “It was awful to be a Negro and have no control over my life” (Angelou, 2014, p. 186). Entranced in her own dark thoughts, Angelou missed the fact that she did indeed of control over her life, but only if she took control. People lack the motive to think outside their own thoughts and end up trapping themselves inside their own minds. Achieving the knowledge that the mind is a person own worst enemy creates the ability to control it.
While trying to find her own happiness, Helga Crane looks towards her materialistic views which prove to dissatisfy her in every situation. Helga Crane put up racial barriers physiologically to protect herself from discrimination and conformity. Crane grew up without a place in the status quo which forced her to blend with wherever she was accepted. Her influences during childhood had a huge impact on her and the way she felt she should be treated, but as she grows older she begins to experience the wrath of racism. Crane experiences her life through the eyes of other people, particularly white people.
Forcefully silenced into submission and subject to continuous abuse by the man, she thought was her father, Celie adopts the private mode of letter writing to express her grievances. Growing up in a southern working class household, Celie is exposed to the full force of sexism in a primarily black society. Addressing her concerns to God, the first letter immediately brings to light the plight of the innocent girl child who is rudely forced to acknowledge her womanhood at the age of fourteen when she is constantly raped and impregnated by her step father. The letters are written in the first person but even though she assumes the “I”, she does not sign the letters as she is perhaps aware that her private life is still dictated by the patriarch of the household. This can also be read as conscious attempt on Walker’s part to suggest that the plight of Celie is the plight of most black women of her age, hence the deliberate omission.
African American women with darker and lighter complexions suffered some type of emotional baggage and rejection at a point in their lives. Although one is seen to have privilege, it was never the light skinned woman’s intention to be as superior as she is. She carries privilege but, “both experienced the same things but just on the end of two different spectrum”, states American Inspirational Speaker, Iyanla Vanzant. The Secret Shame has always perceived dark woman as being the inferior but at the end of the day Colorism not only effects woman of darker complexions but woman of lighter complexions as well. No matter how hard one tries to change who they are they have to understand how this really affects the other and until then things have to be said, feelings have to surface, and hearts have to be mended.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character, Janie—an African American woman of the 1930’s, struggles with accepting the stereotypes that affect her life. She tries to fit in with them at the cost of her happiness and self-expression. Through her revelations and life changes that defy these stereotypes the audience discovers just how damaging and self-defeating stereotypes can be. Stereotypes can lead to loss of cultural pride and loss of self-expression because they are often based on racist and or sexist generalizations, people feel obligated to fit in with stereotypes, and people lose a sense of independence when they try to follow a stereotype. When one thinks of any cultural group, racist and, in some cases, sexist stereotypes that have permeated society may come to mind.
Many of us are faced with the idea that we will never be able to live up to society 's expectations. That no matter what we do as human beings, nothing will ever be perfect to society. In the short documentary film “A Girl like Me,” the director of the film examines the importance of color of skin, hair and facial features for young African-American woman. The director 's purpose was to empower the women and let them know they can overcome these false stereotypes. The film starts by including some of the most common misconceptions and stereotypes of African-American women, naming a few were, loud, ghetto, and obnoxious.
Hypocrisy is as much a part of Maycomb’s society as church and community spirit. For example, Mrs. Merriweather talks about saving the poor Mruans from Africa, but she thinks black people in her community are a disgrace (p.234). The hypocrisy of this teaching is shown as soon as she mentions the word ‘persecution’. This is due to the fact that she herself is persecuting the black people of Maycomb by not raising an eyebrow at the killing of innocent black men. Furthermore, it is obvious Bob Ewell is abusive to his daughter, Mayella, and that he is the one who violated her, not Tom Robinson (p.178).