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

By bell hooks

A vintage paintings of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a girl 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 booklet a serious position on each feminist scholar's bookshelf.

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About the Author
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Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (January three, 2012)
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ISBN-10: 0230340083
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Printed publication Dimensions: five. 6 x zero. 6 x eight. eight inches

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Additional info for Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

Example text

It was only in relationship to the black 18 AIN’T I A WOMAN female slave that the white slaver could exercise freely absolute power, for he could brutalize and exploit her without fear of harmful retaliation. Black female slaves moving freely about the decks were a ready target for any white male who might choose to physically abuse and torment them. Initially every slave on board the ship was branded with a hot iron. A cat-o’nine-tails was used by the slavers to lash those Africans that cried out in pain or resisted the torture.

The area that most clearly reveals the differentiation between the status of male slaves and female slaves is the work area. The black male slave was primarily exploited as a laborer in the fields; the black female was exploited as a laborer in the fields, a worker in the domestic household, a breeder, and as an object of white male sexual assault. While black men were not forced to assume a role colonial American society regarded as "feminine,” black women were forced to assume a "masculine” role.

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.

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