This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

White Versus Black; Women In Despair

1627 words - 7 pages

Harriet Jacobs writes her own atrocious story in the autobiographic book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. She writes the following; "Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women" (Jacobs, 88). With her work Jacobs shows that the evils of slavery are worse for a woman just because of their gender. She exemplifies the imbalance of what society dictated should be the proper role for women in the Nineteenth century. As well as how this contradicted with slavery and thus preventing women from fulfilling exactly these roles. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl highlight these double standards that are put upon white women and black women. White women versus black ...view middle of the document...

Jacobs learned at an early age to read and write so illiteracy wasn’t an impediment for her. Slaves were also not allowed to meet in their own churches and had great difficulty to receive religious instructions. They were only allowed to practice the religion of their masters, this in order to keep them in line and be obedient. "The slaves begged the privilege of again meeting at their little church in the woods… Their request was denied, and the church was demolished" (Jacobs, 78). Despite the many disadvantages presented to Jacobs she does exhibit religiosity. For instance when she was invited to attend services in the home of a free coloured man, because she could read she went regardless of the risk of her own life. Another example is when she teaches an older gentleman to read the Bible again with great risk to her life. With not just speaking of religiosity, but putting it into action she could fulfil at least this aspect of the female gender identity. The biggest struggle for female slaves was maintaining their purity. Even though society orchestrated these conventions and pressed on the importance of purity in women, it was denied to black women in slavery. Jacobs herself became a victim of this as well. The unfairness of these practises was immense; white women were praised for their purity but this virtue was stolen from the black slave women. Black slave women got abused by their white masters and this sexual abuse wasn’t even considered a criminal offense. The slave women weren’t viewed as people, but as property that could be used and abused in every way by their masters. The women were subjected to horrifying cruelties, Jacobs’ master said the following about this: “He told me I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things” (Jacobs, 34).
Sexual abuse and harassment was something most female slaves encountered. Unfortunately it was almost certain the purity of a female slave would be stolen from her at a certain age. Jacobs knew this and also wrote about this: “But I now entered on my fifteenth year – a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl. My master began to whisper foul words in my ear.” (Jacobs, 34). They were not protected by law and their situations were really hopeless and sad. Their wasn’t a safe refuge for the female slave anywhere and they would not even be protected by the mistress of the house. As a matter of fact instead of protecting the female slaves the mistresses would actually see them as the problem. They too were trapped in this vicious circle and even if they had wanted to help the female slaves they would not have the power to do so. Jacobs desperately tries to avoid her master and keep him from sexual abusing her in order to keep her highly important purity. At a certain point Jacobs falls in love with a free black man and he wanted to marry her. Her master Dr. Flint denies the marriage, because he wants to keep her for himself. Marriage was typically denied to...

Find Another Essay On White versus black; women in despair

Toni Morrison's Sula - Black on White Violence Advocated in Sula

1071 words - 4 pages Black on White Violence Advocated in Sula "And white women? They chase you [black men] to every corner of the earth, feel for you under every bed. I knew a white woman wouldn't leave the house after six o'clock for fear one of you would snatch her.… They think rape soon's they see you, and if they don't get the rape they looking for, they scream it anyway just so the search won't be in vain." (Morrison) This is how Sula, the heroine of Toni

Black Magic vs. White Magic in Shakespeare’s The Tempest

585 words - 2 pages Black Magic vs. White Magic in Shakespeare’s The Tempest “A man who governs his passions is “truly wise”…. The heavens have not seen nor has the earth borne a more glorious person than the man who always obeys reason. Not all the crowns of the world can adorn his head fittingly; only eternity can recompense one of such high virtue. To have a quiet soul is the only pleasure of the world” (Anderson 173-4). Where is the line drawn

White Man's Happpiness in a Black Man's Misery

2236 words - 9 pages Merlin Shekinah ENG 4U1 Ms. Prete Monday/April/7/2014 White Man’s Happiness in a Black Man’s Misery “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” This was a dream of a young man, who was a victim of racism, and that man was known as Martin Luther King Junior. Throughout history stereotyping and bigotry (intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself) has been

Jungle Fever, The Answer is in Black and White

1718 words - 7 pages of white and black. Flipper puts it to the back of his mind that Drew is in reality only half black. He exclaims to Angie saying "if they look black; they act black; they are black!" The act of being black according to this movie can be a form of symbolic interactionism in itself, and this label of being black affects many of the things Flipper does in the movie. Examples of this is how he describes himself as a strong black man when talking about

Racism in “Little Black Boy” and “The White Man’s Burden”

929 words - 4 pages People tend to make race a bigger deal than what it is, and in literature race is seen to be even more exaggerated. Even within literary texts we are able to see stratification, degradation and accommodation due to race. Through these texts we are revealed perceptions of race that people had at that time. The portrayal of racism within William Blake’s, “The Little Black Boy” and Rudyard Kipling’s, “The White Man’s Burden” show the racist views

America in Black and White: One Nation Indivisible

2290 words - 9 pages foundation for black and white relations in the United States. Committed to race-neutral policies, the measuring stick by which they judge today’s racial policies, they counter the lack of intellectual rigor in popularly held explanations of racial disparities by using sociological studies and some seventy tables to bolster their contention that American society has changed in revolutionary ways. They also criticize the misuse of statistics

Opposition of Black and White in Heart of Darkness

1237 words - 5 pages The Opposition of Black and White in Heart of Darkness   In Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad explores the psychological “heart of darkness” within all of humanity. The text looks at the European societies false illumination of civilization, of which obscures the internal darkness, in relation to the psychological environment in which human’s are placed. Conrad sets up the opposition of black and white to display the superficial pretense of

blackhod Black vs. White in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1681 words - 7 pages Black vs. White in Heart of Darkness        The warm glow of civilization comforts and protects us all, but is there something more?  Is the heart of darkness lurking just below the surface, accessible to all but revealed to few?  In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad provides the reader with the image of black vs. white in an attempt to convey the idea of an ever-present heart of darkness.    Although the main plot of Conrad's tale

Black Women in an American Industry

781 words - 4 pages event. Being a black woman in America is like being in an ongoing war, with every battle somehow lost, and knowing that no matter what you do, you won't win the fight. Despite all that, we somehow manage to always regain our strength, hope, and faith. Strength from always being the odd ones out. Hope that one day America will see us as equal to not only white women, but also a man of any race. We can only hold on to the faith that acceptance will be offered to us, despite our unwinable war of being told to "fit in". Black women keep thriving and trying no matter who they are or what they do for a living.

Black Women to the Men in TEWWG

712 words - 3 pages The three women in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Daisy, Mrs. Bogle, and Mrs. Robbins, are depicted as caricatures of black women who were disrespected in Eatonville, Florida. The main character Janie, has difficulty understanding the ways the men judged the women. Daisy was described as being a young, beautiful dark-skinned woman. Mrs. Bogle, on the other hand, was an elderly grandmother. Finally, Mrs. Robbins,seemed to be a flirtatious

Black Views of White in Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

1197 words - 5 pages “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.” Martin Luther King Junior’s powerful words explain the relationship between blacks and whites in John Howard Griffin’s fictional novel, Black Like Me. John Griffin conducts an experiment to change his skin color from Caucasian to Negro. Due to his outside, his inside becomes neglected but when Caucasian covered the outside, the same

Similar Essays

Sexual Harassment Among Canadian Women, Black And White

1146 words - 5 pages messages exchange and should never contemplate reporting to the appropriate authorities. 3) In what ways are the ideas and/or issues presented in the article related to the textbook reading? In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different? Welsh et al. (2006) discusses the white privilege of white women over black women in cases of rape and sexual harassment. The article argues that race, gender and citizenship play an important

Black Women In Art Essay

1235 words - 5 pages intentionally. These two prints illustrate a very interesting dichotomy. The man removes his mask with power and intent, the woman is ashamed and afraid to have hers falling off. This truly exemplifies the ongoing struggle of equality not simply between white men and black women, but between black men and black women, which highlights the need to address sexism in the African American community. The uncertainty the female shows on her face in Facing Reality

Black Women In Music Essay

1800 words - 7 pages Black Women in Music Music is a reflection of the community from which it came. African American women have been reflecting the social, economic, and political experiences of the African American community through thier music past and present. Each era of change in the African American community has brought about a African American female revoluntionary. Examples of this can be seen through the blues and jazz singers of the Harlem

Black Heart In A White World: Othello

733 words - 3 pages superior to him because he is a black man, and society really keeps reinforcing that throughout the duration of the play. Living with a black heart in a white world was hard to come by for Othello. The remarks made by society and even Desdemona’s family alone were enough to make him feel inferior to his wife. Taking place in the 1600s, a man should’ve never felt inferior to his wife because women were of less stature and it was breaking the rules of