Download e-book for iPad: Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

By bell hooks

ISBN-10: 1317588614

ISBN-13: 9781317588610

A vintage paintings of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a lady has turn into a must-read for all these drawn to the character of black womanhood. reading the influence of sexism on black ladies in the course of slavery, the devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism between feminists, and the black woman's involvement with feminism, hooks makes an attempt to maneuver us past racist and sexist assumptions. the result's not anything in need of groundbreaking, giving this publication a serious position on each feminist scholar's bookshelf.

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Example text

The most celebrated case of this time was that of Irish Nell, an indentured servant sold by Lord Baltimore to a south­ ern planter who encouraged her to marry a black man named Butler. Lord Baltimore, on hearing of the fate of Irish Nell, was so appalled that white women were either by choice or coercion co-habiting sexually with black male slaves that he had the law repealed. The new law stated that the offspring of relationships between white women and black men would be free. As efforts on the part of outraged white men to curtail inter-racial rela­ tionships between black men and white women succeeded, the black female slave acquired a new status.

So horrific was the passage from Africa to America that only those women and men who could maintain a will to live despite their oppressive conditions survived. White people who ob­ served the African slaves as they departed from the ships on American shores noted that they seemed to be happy and joyful. They thought that the happiness of the African slaves was due to their pleasure at having arrived in a Christian land. But the slaves were only expressing relief. They believed no fate that awaited them in the American colonies could be as horrific as the slave ship experience.

Robert Shufeldt, an observer of the slave trade, documented the prevalence of rape on slave ships. ” Many African women were pregnant prior to their capture or purchase. They were forced to endure pregnancy without any care given to their diet, without any exercise, and without any assistance during the labor. In their own communities African women had been accustomed to much pampering and care during pregnancy, so the barbaric nature of childbearing on the slave ship was both physically harmful and psychologically demoralizing.

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Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

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