This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Colonialism And Oppression In The African Diaspora

2248 words - 9 pages

Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora
The experiences of the women of the African diaspora are as diverse as the regions they have come to inhabit. Despite the variety in their local realities, African and African-descended women across the planet share in many common experiences. Wherever they have made their homes, these women tend to occupy inferior or marginalized positions within their societies. Whether in the United States, Europe, Latin America, or even Africa itself, black women must confront what Patricia Hill Collins describes as a “matrix of domination” which has, for centuries, perpetuated their subjugation and oppression. According to Collins, a matrix of domination is a comprehensive social organization in which intersecting oppressions are created and maintained (Collins 246). Although these systems are manifested differently depending on the cultural context in which they were birthed, most have similar origins. In the cases of both Africa and the United States, the most salient factor in the development of oppressive orders is the widespread European colonization which took place from the sixteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. This historic domination of Africans and their descendants, combined with the near-universal presence of patriarchy in human cultures, have worked together to place black women among the most oppressed groups worldwide.
Arguably, the effects which Europe’s global colonialism have had on women of the African diaspora can be most easily seen on the African continent. Kenyan feminist and environmental activist, Wangari Maathai, explores the legacy of colonialism and oppression in her native country through her moving 2006 memoir, Unbowed. Maathai explains that over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Africa experienced a massive influx of white settlers. In an effort to solidify control over recently acquired colonies, many European powers had encouraged large numbers of their ethnically white citizens to make a new home on the African continent. As a result, thousands of native Africans were displaced. Even Maathai’s ancestors, the Kikuyu and Maasai peoples, were among them.
The majority of these forced dislocations took place in the highland regions. The rich soil and temperate climate of this area had proven attractive to native African peoples for centuries; and it seemed the new British settlers found it equally tempting. After most of the land’s original occupants were transported to the Rift Valley region of western Kenya, settlers began taking advantage of the highlands’ vast natural resources. The land was essentially ravaged as ancient forests were clear-cut in order to make room for agricultural plots. The introduction of the plantation system, with its non-native plant species, large-scale hunting, and systematic recruitment of Africans as field laborers, signaled the next phase in the oppression of native Africans (Maathai 6-9).
The...

Find Another Essay On Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora

The Effects of African Colonialism Essay

1268 words - 5 pages , the imposition of the foreign rule and its effects on the economical and political futures of her inhabitants far outweigh the positive aspects brought about through colonialism.One casualty of colonialism in Africa did not surface until after the African countries declared their independence: self-sustainability. Although politically independent, African countries were not financially capable of taking on the demands of running a country, forcing

The Power of Self Definition in Feminism of the African Diaspora

2426 words - 10 pages Latin America and the United States, Black women experience unique intersection of racism and sexism. Furthermore, it is through self-definition and assertion that women of the African diaspora come together to fight for freedom, justice, and equality. Whether through colonialism or feminism, White people have always insisted on their way of living as the correct way. Moreover, Whites often travel to other worlds in order to bring civilization and

Masculinity in the Trinidadian Diaspora

871 words - 4 pages Sections of an Orange dives into the personal stories of men and women living in Trinidad and Tobago and the Trinidadian diaspora in New York. Anton Nimblett allows the reader to experience the struggles with the characters, and there are feelings of isolation, longing, deception, and most commonly—love. Caribbean conceptions of gender and sexuality are usually geared towards the traditional types. In other words, boys are to playing

Gates’ and Wilson’s Theories on African Diaspora Musics

1576 words - 6 pages Gates’ and Wilson’s Theories on African Diaspora Musics Some scholars theorize that the Middle Passage to the Americas was so traumatic that most African influence was eradicated, and that few traces of Africa exist in African-American music. This “cultural tabulala [sic] rasa” theory is rightfully rejected by many scholars (Wilson 3). The inflow of African people to the New World was brought on by the existence of slavery, and resulted in

Imperialism and Colonialism in The Tempest

1118 words - 4 pages The Tempest was Shakespeare’s last play that was written shortly after England colonized Virginia in 1609. Throughout the play, there are many different references to imperialism and colonialism within the characters. The Tempest analyzes the imperialistic relationships between England and America but applies it to personal human interaction between the central characters. The island gives newcomers a sense of endless possibilities like

Corruption as a Consequence of Colonialism - as portrayed in Achebe’s The African Trilogy

978 words - 4 pages Corruption as a Consequence of Colonialism - as portrayed in Achebe’s The African Trilogy All quotations are taken from the 1988 Picador edition of Chinua Achebe’s The African Trilogy " He has put a knife on all the things that held us together and we have fallen apart" (Things Fall Apart, 145) The things that held the Igbo tribe together were their close bonds of clan kinship, unified allegiance to their gods, and their democratic

African Responses to Colonialism: A Study of the Peaceful and Violent Dichotomy

1918 words - 8 pages are defined as devoid of bloodshed and aggressive confrontation whereas violent reactions are defined as uprisings of a coalition or faction that involve open hostility. In the context of African resistance to colonialism, success is defined as the achievement of the party in question's objective as well as sustaining the attained goal in order for it to have a lasting positive impact on the country. These objectives typically fall into the two

Colonialism in the Caribbean

1548 words - 6 pages on plantations so as to prevent unity and potential uprisings. This inevitably curbed the amount of a single African cultural influence on the island. Rojo Rojo, seems to be more specific about the effects of colonialism than Mintz and this is more helpful in truly understanding what it did to the Caribbean. For example, Rojo explains that the European sugar mills in the Caribbean were passed from "fathers to sons, thus building up an

Colonialism in the Congo

1833 words - 7 pages slice of this magnificent African cake"Unlike colonies ruled by France and Britain, the Congo was ruled by Leopoldhimself, directly from Belgium. In the Congo, the Belgian government officials powerswere limited to the goals of King Leopold. After he had established major posts andbases, he simply placed European white men there to carry out his directives.Low level Africans reported to middle level officials, which reported to a governorgeneral

The colonialism and imperialism in China in the 19th century

895 words - 4 pages government still functioned in much of the same ways as it did under British colonialism. Furthermore, the language of English and British culture highly impacted the society of Hong Kong and Southern China for over a century.By the late 1800s, China is said to be "carved up like a melon" by foreign powers competing for "spheres of influence" on Chinese soil.Basically it was the European nations dividing China into spheres of influence during the

Impact of European Colonialism and Imperialism on African Women

1612 words - 6 pages colonialism. Women were traditionally considered equals or near equals to men in many aspects of some African societies. Farming was the primary occupation of almost every African woman (Gross and Bingham volume I 70). Women were a significant part of the work force and essential to their families' survival (Gross and Bingham volume I 53). Many tribes had female chiefs, and females were given other high-ranking roles in their societies (Gross and

Similar Essays

Colonialism And Oppression In The African Diaspora

1048 words - 5 pages Colonialism and Oppression in the African Diaspora The Kenyan feminist and environmental activist, Wangari Maathai, explores the legacy of colonialism and oppression in her native country through her moving 2006 memoir, Unbowed. Maathai explains that over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Africa experienced a massive influx of white settlers. In an effort to solidify control over recently acquired colonies, many

African Diaspora In Sports Essay

3471 words - 14 pages major championships include: The Open Championship, The U.S. Open, The Masters, and lastly, the PGA Championship (McGrath, McCormick and Garrity 12-14). This paper is going to discuss how the African diaspora in the sport of Golf with major reference to notable figures such as Tiger Woods, Lee Elder, Charlie Sifford, and Renee Powell among others, with their contribution to golf as well as Tiger Woods comparison to Michael Jordan.DiscussionOver the

African Diaspora And National Belonging Essay

2303 words - 9 pages The Pan Africanism movement covers the African diaspora subject across the globe, most recently in the Asian continent. The following communities discussed in this paper are from India and the Persian Gulf area. In the Land of Israel, immigrants of Ethiopian began settling in the state since the 1970’s. Black Jews practice Judaism and Ethiopians migrated to Israel primarily for religious reasons. With roots going back to biblical times

A Theme In African Colonialism Essay

680 words - 3 pages A Theme in African ColonialismThe people of Africa are reminded every day of the atrocities that have resulted from previous European colonization. Most African countries are still filled with corruption, poverty and are basically in a state of chaos. European colonization has made a permanent impact on African culture and their way of life. Multiple reasons led to colonization, including discoveries of abundant natural resources, urge to spread