Women in the African American Literary History
The African American history dates way back to the days of slavery and oppression where Black women wanted to be heard and recognized. Their presumed responsibilities and roles such as submissive wives and workers in the kitchen to fit in the premonition of an ideal woman as in the “Cult of True Womanhood”, predominated in this era. With the rise of the Harlem Renaissance, there was an outburst of African American writers particularly women who were able to express their preserved culture and hopes in their own words. Their oppression and hard conditions of life awakened their desires to fight for their rights and to take a stand against social injustices.
Their works focused mainly on the inequalities placed on African American women whether political or social through theme and personal experiences and have found wider publicity over the years.
Feminine literature served a purpose of creating an awareness to readers of the strong personalities, intellect and real potential that go far beyond the fences put by the views of a simple domestic living.
Emerging Roles of African American women
Kate Chopkin one of the renowned female African American writers presented the earliest works of literature that talks about Motherhood and has views on felinity. In her book The Awakening, she emphasizes women as individuals who do not live by the normal social expectations. Her writing was also influenced by her background as she was raised around strong intellectual and independent women who influenced her views and perception in life. In her book, Edna who is one of the characters in the book leaves her husband home which is unacceptable to find a place of her own. Chopkin describes this as a way to finding one self and discover the strength and potential that lies within Edna.
Chopkin also highlights the unwillingness of the society to support an independent woman. As seen in her book, The Awakening, Edna succumbs to loneliness and depression during her emotional journey and eventually decides to end her own life.
“The Storm”, “Story of an Hour”, and “The awakening” are some of her stories that elucidate strong female personalities.
African American women through their literature are known to have moved masses. Through their passionate expressions of the situations they went through, they have influenced other women in the society to move from their comfort zones and be empowered.
Black women writers have been responsive all through literary history in depicting black women as real people with all the convolutions and profundity that black women have. These concerns have been the focus of the an ideology that brings about the creation of a distinctively feminine consciousness and thinking, driven by the need to re-examine, amend and re-write the history of women.
African women had no voices and were mostly supposed to be in agreement with the male dominated...