The Damnation Of Women Analysis

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Anna Julia Cooper’s, Womanhood a Vital Element in the Regeneration and Progress, an excerpt from A Voice from the South, discusses the state of race and gender in America with an emphasis on African American women of the south. She contributes a number of things to the destitute state African American woman became accustom to and believe education and elevation of the black woman would change not only the state of the African American community but the nation as well. Cooper’s analysis is based around three concepts, the merging of the Barbaric with Christianity, the Feudal system, and the regeneration of the black woman.
Throughout most of early European history, women were viewed as inferior to men. Roman law described women as children, forever inferior to men. Christian theology continued to perpetuate these views over the centuries. In the 4th century St Jerome of the
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D. Du Bois views are consistent with Coopers ’assessment of the plight African American women faced in the United States. In Du Bois essay The Damnation of Women, he makes distinct connections between Christian theology, women’s rights and the importance of elevating black women. Du Bois points out contradictions and unrealistic expectations set on women through Christian theology and ideologies, “All womanhood is hampered today because the world on which it is emerging is a world that tries to worship both virgins and mothers and in the end despises motherhood and despoils virgins.” Du Bois understood the importance of the woman’s position as the first teacher of man. The woman ultimately determines the disposition of their society. He goes on to clarify the origin of “the mother-idea” as being derived from African culture. Asserting the first mother came from the dark-continent Africa and Isis, a goddess who was worshiped and revered as the ideal mother and wife as being the original mother. “No mother can love more tenderly, and none is more tenderly loved than the Negro mother.”

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