Voice Of Equality In The Works Of Toni Morrison And Bell Hooks

1288 words - 5 pages

Voice of Equality in the Works of Toni Morrison and bell hooks

  In the 223 years our country has been instituted, the way black people are perceived in society has always been less than acceptable. Great leaders and motivators like Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have come and gone, their voices and action have attempted to change the role of black people in society.  However, even in today times, equality is still far off, and there is no voice comparable to what blacks relied on in those days.  Instead of marches in Alabama, or speeches in Washington, the plight of the blacks are heard through literature.  Small voices in literature that makes a big impact on society.  Toni Morrison and bell hooks use words to motivate people of all color.  Morrison and hooks open eyes to this so-called free country we live in with the purpose of showing society's condemnation of black life, interracial relationships and black woman in a traditionally men's roles.  In the two stories by Toni Morrison titled, "On the Backs of Blacks" and "Friday on the Potomac," she strives to prove the effects of racism in America, the oppression of African Americans in society, and the racial and sexist aspects of the Anita Hall and Clarence Thomas Hearings. In "Sorrowful Black Death Is Not a Hot Ticket" and "Seduction And Betrayal" bell hooks criticizes the way black life is depicted the movies: Crooklyn, The Bodyguard, and The Crying Game.


    Toni Morrison and bell hooks believe that mainstream society condemns black life as meaningless and unimportant.  In Toni Morrison's "On The Back of Blacks", she describes the oppression the black community experiences from today's white society.  She labels it "race talk" and describes it as "the explicit insertion into everyday life of racial signs and symbols that have no meaning other than pressing African Americans to the lowest level of the racial hierarchy" (p. 57).  She adds that most music theatre and movies are "heavily engaged in race talk" (p. 57).  Morrison describes the unjust stereotypical barrier a black individual must overcome just to be recognized as a respectable part of the community.  bell hooks gives a parallel opinion in "Sorrowful Black" Death Is Not a Hot Ticket.  hooks states that "audiences are so accustomed to representations of the brutal death of black folks in Hollywood films that no one is outraged when our bodies are violently slaughtered" (p. 100).  hooks' describes the desensitization of black life in today's society as a constraint on their basic rights and privileges.  She points toward media as a catalyst of this attitude that black life is meaningless.   Together, Morrison and hooks explain that black life in today's society is condemned and restrained to little or no value.


    Morrison and hooks declare interracial relationships unacceptable in society.  In "Seduction And Betrayal," bell hooks describes the...

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