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Research Paper On G Loria Naylor's "The Women Of Brewster Place"

1409 words - 6 pages

Historically, the black woman was born of inferior status and prejudice based on sex and color. Over time she has transformed into a woman of much prestige filled with courage and determination, much like the characters in Gloria Naylor's novel. The black woman's experiences consisted of hardships and bitterness. From the beginning of time, the black woman was mainly used for breeding more slaves. The strength of their spirits helped them survive. All the women in the Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor overcome some struggle but in reality they only complicate their situation because of race.African Americans played three major roles in the past: physical labor and toil as a slave, a ...view middle of the document...

The slave life of hard labor, poor food, little shelter, and inhumane breeding was the most indelible and unforgettable experience suffered by the black woman. Working in the fields, keeping the masters' house and children (if they were lucky), and passively accepting the white mans advances were all part of a black woman's life. It was said to be a "burden of being born black" (Anderson 102) Physical and mental oppressions were common in the black community. The roles of wives and mothers were threatened by the outside world. A black mother was forced to accept that their daughters were in the hands of the white mans abuse. "One of the most degrading experiences for the black woman was her sale on the auction block, where she was stripped and publicly paraded before the eyes of potential buyers" (Watkins 21). The white world ruled over anything and everything done in a black one. Because of this, the black woman instilled in her children a distrust and fear of the white world and discouraged their ambitions in order for them to accept the second-class citizenship they would eventually have to face. The abuse of the white world made the female African American stronger and less feminine, and forced them to devise ways (some of which were not acceptable in middle class ethics) of surviving the white world. This made the black woman what she is today and shaped and molded her family.The African American race were always treated inferior and inhumanly in a sense towards the white society. "Black people were not considered to be human beings. They were wild, savage creatures without souls. Negro women were forced to give up their bodies like animals to white men at random!" ( Hooks ). Those who did try to maintain their dignity were beaten, burned, and lynched. They were treated worse than dogs. For example, there was no action that took place or law that was broken when a North Carolina slave owner admitted to burning the sides of a young girls face with a hot iron. The same man also admitted to branding an "R" on the cheek of a sixteen-year-old Negro girl. He also cropped a piece of her ear and branded the same letter "R" on the inside of both of her legs. (Watkins 32). Debasement of the black woman lessened, but did not completely end and lingered on in all forms trying to rid itself from a white society.The ideal American image concerning the roles women play and the appropriate image, are completely against the qualities and features the black woman possesses. A common black woman's role, known to everyone, is as a maid, housekeeper, or day worker and the common appearance to the black woman is a black face, African features, and kinky hair, which is far from the American ideal of women and beauty. The black woman was viewed...

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