By Deborah Gray White
Residing with the twin burdens of racism and sexism, slave girls within the plantation South assumed roles in the kin and group that contrasted sharply with conventional girl roles within the greater American society. This re-creation of Ar'n't I a Woman? experiences and updates the scholarship on slave girls and the slave relations, exploring new methods of knowing the intersection of race and gender and evaluating the myths that stereotyped girl slaves with the realities in their lives. peculiarly, this groundbreaking learn indicates us how black girls skilled freedom within the Reconstruction South — their heroic fight to realize their rights, carry their households jointly, face up to monetary and sexual oppression, and keep their feel of womanhood opposed to all odds.
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Extra resources for Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South
Nadie os iguala en el baile, nadie derrama como vosotras ese raudal de fuego puro como vuestras frentes, ni esa voluptuosidad encantadora que solo nace en nuestro clima. [These steps acquire greater charm with the graciousness of the daughters of the Tropics; it is impossible to follow with one’s eyes the movements of one of those A White Lady Called the Danza / 9 dark-skinned young women with languid gaze, slender waistline and small feet, without having one’s heart reveal itself wanting to come out of one’s chest.
34 Yet the traits that he essentializes as a sign of the docile and self-defeating Puerto Rican character have very little to do with the value of the danza as a national music. He proposes a circular argument that results at best in a redundancy. In a totalizing way, he reduces the danza to “a minor tone,” a structural element that signals its supposed “blandness,” but the fact is that, musically speaking, not all danzas are written in a minor tone. And even if a substantial number of danzas were composed in this modality, this particular trait has nothing to do with the maleness or femaleness of the culture from which they emerge but rather with the predominant modalities of romantic music that characterize them.
We do not want to be shy, to be subordinated! We want to be free now; and our machetes are already sharpened. Why should we be asleep and deaf to this signal? We should not fear, Riqueños, the noises of the cannon, for saving our country is the duty of our hearts. We want no more tyrants. May the tyrant fall! Women, unconquerable, will also know how to fight! We want liberty! Our machetes will assure it for us! t h e d a n z a a n d t h e p l e n a / 22 Lola Rodríguez de Tió’s hymn, a summons to both men and women to take up arms and fight against the Spanish troops, challenges the images of Puerto Ricans as docile, passive and melancholic.
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