African Culture Essay

3420 words - 14 pages

Contrary to popular belief, slavery of minority groups remains to be abolished in the US today; psychological slavery that is. This is especially true of the most marginalized group in society for the majority of history; women of the African Diaspora. Although the thirteenth amendment did technically make slavery illegal, it failed to dispose of, or even amend, the very political and social systems that thrived on the very oppression of the disadvantaged itself. These repressive systems that remain intact today depend on keeping part of the population hindered and deficient. In The Creation of Patriarchy, Gerda Lerner describes how the status quo is kept in any tyranny:
The system of patriarchy [oppression] can function only with the cooperation of women [subjugates]. This cooperation is secured by a variety of means: gender indoctrination; educational deprivation; the denial to women [the oppressed] of knowledge of their history; the dividing of women, one from the other, by defining “respectability” and “deviance” according to women’s sexual activities; by restraints and outright coercion; by discrimination in access to economic resources and political power; and by awarding class privileges to conforming women. (217)
We have seen these methods employed regularly by our government in relation to immigrants and women, and they are unnervingly successful. By robbing someone’s history from them, they lose a sense of meaning in life; a connection to the world. In addition, it diminishes their awareness of their own internal power, since they are denied knowledge of their ancestral struggles and achievements. What’s more, without any influential rebuttal, the subjugators control the definition of language and symbols that make up how society as a whole thinks and believes. It is in this way that white men have defined the world, and black women’s roles, in their own terms. Unfortunately, these terms are hardly unprejudiced, or accurate for that matter. More than not, imposed definitions of marginalized groups such as “The welfare queen” and the “gold digger”, are used as a distraction from the bigger issue; in this case poverty and racism in America. Such misleading and biased definitions lead to social justification of oppression, as well as to the dissolution of a unified community; needed to stand against the tyrannical rule. Corruptly, one of the most idealized western traditions that we have today and judge others by is the very product of sexism, racism, classism, and capitalism all in one. Due to the this intersectionality of oppression, Marriage in the Western Judeo-Christian sense is especially detrimental to women of the African Diaspora; in that its very foundations serve to rob these women of their freedom and dreams. In this way, they are stripped of their full ability to reach autonomy, self-identity, and ultimately fulfillment; they become tortured souls. As such, they possess a “hole” in the heart and spirit: if filled by failing...

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