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

By bell hooks

A vintage paintings of feminist scholarship, Ain't I a girl has develop into a must-read for all these attracted to the character of black womanhood. analyzing 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 wanting groundbreaking, giving this ebook a serious position on each feminist scholar's bookshelf.

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

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The period of maternity is hastened, the average youth of negro mothers being nearly three years earlier than that of any free race, and an old maid is utterly known among the women. Slave women who refused to choose a man and mate with him had men forced upon them by their overseer or master. Some slaveholders preferred to breed black women with white men, as mulattoes frequently brought a higher price on the market or were easier to sell. In a letter dated March 13,1835 a Methodist minister residing in Virginia observed: Mulattoes are surer than pure negroes.

The female slave lived in constant aware­ ness of her sexual vulnerability and in perpetual fear that any male, white or black, might single her out to assault and victim­ ize. Linda Brent in the narrative of her slave experience expressed her awareness of the black female’s plight: Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women. Superadded to the burden common to all, they have wrongs, and suffering, and mortifications peculiarly their own. Those sufferings peculiar to black women were directly related to their sexuality and involved rape and other forms of sexual assault.

Sophy, Lewis’s wife, came to beg for some old line. She is suffering fearfully; has had ten children; five of them all dead. The principal favor she asked was a piece of meat, which I gave her. Sally, Scipio’s wife, has had two miscarriages and three children born, one of whom is dead. She came com­ plaining of incessant pain and weakness in her back. This woman was a mullatto daughter of a slave called Sophy, by a white man of the name of Walker who visited the plantation. Charlotte, Renty’s wife, has had two miscarriages, and was with child again.

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