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The African American Woman Essay

1469 words - 6 pages

The African American Woman

Throughout history, women have often been considered second class to men. African- Americans were also considered second class citizens to Caucasians. Both women and African Americans had to be strong and endure many hardships in their fight to be seen as equals in their own country. In her book, The Women of Brewster Place, Gloria Naylor has explored the burdens of both being a woman, and being an African American, as she wrote a story of seven African American women overcoming their circumstances in their deteriorating community. The women, all have their own obstacle whether it’s being a single mother, moving away from everything they knew, their sexuality, or rape. They each had to become stronger if they wanted to get to a better place in life. Unfortunately, the image portrayed in Women of Brewster Place is not too different from the image seen today. Today’s women may appear to be in a better place but looks can be deceiving. They are still being left alone to raise their children, and in today’s society that job is even harder to do alone. They are still being put down by their community, and it is still very hard for them to create a better life for themselves and their family with America’s foot kicking them down anytime they attempt to pull themselves up.

The African American woman often has to carry the burdens of their families alone. Mattie Michael, the main character in The Women of Brewster Place, exemplifies how heavy that burden can become. Mattie was a young single mother who moved to Brewster Place after her son, Basil, forfeits her home after she uses it as collateral to get him out of jail and he disappears. The pain she felt was not much different from the pain a lot of mothers have felt. . In 2011, sixty-seven percent of all the single mothers in America were African American, this epidemic of places an even greater. Raising a child to be more than their parents were can also make that burden greater, especially when the mother was never taught how to raise a child. A lot of the single mothers in America today, like Mattie Michael, had their children at a young age. According to the Office of Adolescent Health, In 2012 there were 305,420 babies born to girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen, and about eighty-nine percent of those babies were born out of wedlock, and because they are young, they have a difficult time finding housing and often times end up in dilapidated areas where violence is an epidemic that can’t be stopped. Accordingly, their children grow up learning that violence and drugs is the only way to solve their problems, like C.C. Banks, the leader of the gang on Brewster Place and the person responsible for the rape of Lorraine. He was dealing the pain he flet the only way he knew how the reason that in 2012 the Chicago Crime Commission reported 600 gang factions containing seventy thousand members amongst them. They also join because they feel that they’re helping...

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