AP Lang and Comp
15 March 2017
Celie’s Life Today
The racial struggles that Black American women have been facing in the United States is a long-lived battle that is still continuing. Contrasting between women like Celie, who exemplify how their race, education, and gender have been perceived as inferior in the early 20th century, to various successful and empowered black women of today is worth exploration. Due to the lack of opportunities given to them, the lives of black uneducated women have received less attention in today’s society. However, the small number of opportunities that they have received have been extraordinary. Media attention towards black women in America has started to progress, but concerns about how accurate the representation is have emerged. The media has been trying to stray from considered stereotypes, but has not been entirely successful. The stereotypes that are apparent in society today are because of the empowerment that women, and especially, black women, have experienced, and the perceived thought of vocal, empowered women as “angry,” rather than confident, informed, and educated. This perception also ties into the gender roles in today’s society, and how black women have emerged to be successful and dominant in everyday life, especially compared to the early 1900’s. Various empowered and liberated black women have fought for the rights of representation, against stereotypes and perceived gender roles, and have changed society since the early 20th century, which is when Celie’s story was based.
Regardless of their education, black women have emerged as directors, prominent actors, and singers, establishing their names in popular culture. Beyoncé has been one of the most notable female singers in recent years who touched the hearts of many, no matter their backgrounds. Celie, in her letters, depicts how the women around her lack the education that others have been given, with no opportunity to educate themselves. Beyoncé also lacks a college education and was raised in the South, much like Celie, and in some cases, Nettie. The success and global domination that Beyoncé has experienced in her industry exemplifies how far black women, compared to the characters Celie, Nettie, Mary Agnes, and Sofia, have come, despite their lack of education. Lemonade, Beyoncé’s most recent album, represents feministic ideals that vouch for equality and “the making and magic of black womanhood.” (Rolling Stone) The album is so vital and important to society today, as well as to the woman of the past because it shows the development of black women with little education, and how much success and respect they have in the world today, compared to the respect they had during Celie’s lifetime. The difference between the opportunities in the world that black, uneducated women are given today, versus in the early 20th century is best exemplified in the stark differences between Celie’s opportunities and...