A Black Voice The Black woman struggles against oppression not only as a result of her race, but also because of her gender. Slavery created the perception of Black inferiority; sexism traces back to the beginning of Western tradition. White men have shaped nearly every aspect of culture, especially literature. Alice Walker infuses her experiences as a Black woman who grew up in Georgia during the Civil Rights era into the themes and characters of her contemporary novels. Walker’s novels communicate the psychology of a Black woman under the Western social order, touch on the “exoticism of Black women” and challenge stereotypes molded by the white men in power (Bobo par.
However, a movement called “womanisim” supported black women writers. Womanisim is different from feminism in many ways, with the main difference being that womanisim celebrates the culture, traditions and the characteristics of blacks. The word womanism was first introduced by the famous writer Alice Walker in her short story in 1979 titled “Coming Apart”. Walker called the wife in her story a womanist (Coleman 2), explaining the extensively at the beginning of her In Search of our Mother’s Garden: Womanist. 1.
Bibliography Bradley, David. “Novelist Alice Walker: Telling the Black Woman’s Story.” New York Times Magazine 8 Jan. 1984: 24-37. Dieke, Ikenna. Critical Essays on Alice Walker. Westport: Greenwood Press,1999.
Black Women in America: an Historical Encyclopedia. Ed. Darlene Clark Hine, Elsa Barkley Brown, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Pub., 1993. "Voices From the Gaps -- Women Writers of Color."
In Hey Girl, Am I More Than My Hair? : African American Women and Their Struggles with Beauty, Body Image, and Hair Tracey Owen Patton provides a historical review on the emergence of black stereotypes, elaborating on how black women earned the status of inferiority. Black women are held to the Eurocentric expectations, causing these adverse perceptions to evolve from the created principle that white women are the only defining archetypes of beauty (Patton 26). The societal practice of comparing black women to white women sheds a negative light on the black female community, leading to the manife... ... middle of paper ... ...ale’s image is still being felt today, which can be clearly seen through the comment on my acquaintance. I am grateful for artists like Maya Angelou and Kara Walker for protesting the perceptions of black females and working to transform them.
Carole Boyce Davies and Anne Adams Graves. Trenton, NJ: African World Press, 1986. 161-71. Carole Boyce, and Elaine Savory Fido. "African Women Writers: Toward a Literary History."
Their involvement in various Women's Groups has also helped to create a better image for black women. Throughout their lives, they have shown that whatever obstacles a good black woman may face, you can never keep her down! Bibliography Cooper, Anna J. A Voice From the South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Drumgoold, Kate. A Slave Girl’s Story: Being and Autobiography of Kate Drumgoold. Six Women's Slave Narratives. Edited by William L. Andrews. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1988.