Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

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“I'm a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that's me” (lines 10-13). These are a couple of lines from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou, which describes the black woman as a “phenomenal” being. These very words fuel the outlook of an average African-American woman in today’s society. Many people argue the outlook of women has not changed and that they are still portrayed as negative beings. However, African-American women in today’s society have had a very strong and powerful affect. They are phenomenal beings that through a history of trials and tribulations have come a long way in the face of adversity.

One can not talk about the positive roles of women in any civilization without acknowledging their history: “History has constructed our sexuality and our femininity as deviating from those qualities with which white women, as the prize of the Western world, have been endowed” (Carby). The roles of women in society have been greatly overseen in the last few decades but now are coming to more of a perspective to people. In the early days, women were seen as wives who were intended to cook, clean, and take care of the kids. They were not allowed to vote while men took care of having jobs and paying any bills that had to be paid. Soon enough it caught on that women should have a bigger role than what other people thought women should have. Women would have strikes and go on marches to prove that they should have rights just like everyone else. Women would voice their opinion in any way possible so that they could reach their goals. Women in general were thought of as man’s inferior partner. The black race was also thought as inferior to whites. One could only imagine what black women were thought of as, they weren’t even cons...

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... all. At a time when I would be ashamed to define myself as a black woman, I would have to say that I was ignorant, ignorant to the facts of what’s real because of what the media has put in my head. This is not the media’s fault, it is indeed mine. It is my fault because I have been susceptible to the subliminal messages and oblique stereotypes that the media has put out. Nonetheless, I have recently been taught a lesson, a lesson that defines me as a beautiful, intelligent, black woman. A lesson of the facts and statistics that say black women has risen as a whole above hardships. I can say with pride that these very achievements of my fellow black women has made me gallantly perceive myself as one of “them”, the black women who are phenomenal women. Ask me am I black and proud and I will respond no. I’m proud because I’m a black woman. Phenomenal woman that’s me.
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