Racism in Literature The following entry discusses the topic of racism in twentieth century literature.
Those were issues that engaged the greater attention of black writers of the mid-twentieth century, such as Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, Lorraine Hansberry, and Ralph Ellison. From a survey of selected works by African-American writers of that period, the paper argues that the black population, while it hailed the structural racial reforms, was concerned that the legislative dismantling of segregative structures Literature racism and african american woman not changed the fundamental discriminatory attitude of whites.
It further shows that the black woman faced another kind of discrimination not only as a person of colour but also because of her gender; discrimination, sadly, even from her own black society. This paper intends to approach the theme of human rights from the perspective of what, in the last fifty years, until very recently, have been the most recurrent headlines on the banners of human rights: In view of the nature of the politics that has characterized black experience over the ages and the prejudicial perspectives from which intellectuals have viewed certain pivotal concepts, it seems useful to commence this discourse with a clarification of the central issues of racism, sexism, and blackness, as they apply here.
Racism, in the biological sense, is the classification of a population on the basis of phenotypical similarities. This is the sense in which James Boggs defines racism, based on his observation of the black experience in America.
He says it is the systematised oppression by one race of another. In other words, the various forms of oppression with various spheres of social relations - economic exploitation, military subjugation, political subordination, cultural devaluation, psychological violence, sexual degradation, verbal abuse, etc Sexism is discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination by males against females, arising from the opinion that females are less able than males in many ways.
Within the context of this work, sexism and racism intersect in the black woman, who suffers discrimination both for her colour and for her gender. Sometimes she gets 4 further exploited sexually by the dominant race, making her the mother of mulattoes who straddle the racial fence uncertainly, tragically.
Generally, sexism describes the discrimination against one sex by members of another, especially by males against females, on the assumption that the male is superior.
The Racial Dynamics in Early African-American Literature How did African-Americans of the mid-twentieth century respond to the domesticated crisis of racism and its related case of sexism? It was to commit their art to that reality.
That commitment took the form of protest literatures that were merely a continuation of an old tradition dating far back to slavery days.
That is the fiery concern that informs his own plays, especially Dutchmanwhich has come to be known as his best work. That play is set in a subway train, in which the previous customary Jim Crow discriminations do not exist as in earlier days when racism spelt somatic space and segregated facilities.
In Dutchman, the playwright attempts to capture those social reforms in the allowance of bodily proximity and the sharing of facilities as we find between Clay the black man and Lula the white lady, who sit as close as they get, on the same subway train.
In other words, it 5 would appear from the setting and the shared proximity between the central characters each representing their racial categorythat the playwright expresses the concern that although the action of segregation had been formally outlawed, the attitude of discrimination had remained unchanged.
Lula murders Clay because, among other things, he seems to defy her defined stereotypical impressions of the black man. In this way, the indictment is complete both against the individuals who directly execute the racist atrocities here, Lula and the larger society which, through its indifference and feigned ignorance, aids and abets the atrocities, like the passengers in the train.
In this racist society, contrary to orthodox Marxist theories, a class solidarity of economically oppressed peoples does not exist across the colour bar.
That explains the mortal conflict between two characters of the same middle class, differing only in skin pigmentation. To our nameless protagonist, Dr Bledsoe represents the saving material success that marks his own aspirations. According to Harold Cruse, the national character of the Negro has little to do with what part of the country he lives in.
Wherever he lives, he is restricted. It would be noted, however, that in the end, the black person is not the only victim of the blinding system that makes it hard to see other humans.
It is a subtle criticism of a society that thrives on its dehumanization of another race. Whereas the victims of racism are fleeing the brutal experience and the region that represents it, the counter society seeks a fortune there. At last, the society drives him insane and murders him for being the very thing it had made him.
This is in consonance with Calvin C. White men will be at a complete loss to understand why so many black people have gone mad. Because the white man looks at the world through the eyes of the white man, he understands, sees and feels only what his skin allows him to understand, see and feel and according to whatever pervasities with which he is afflicted Consequently, the black person in this society is a victim not just of an arbitrary, faceless system, but of a system consciously maintained by the government which creates the conditions that are enforced by its white police acolytes against the black populace.
She admits that one of the things she tries to do in A Raisin in the Sun is portray that courage qtd. The experiences of Beneatha Younger in that play show that, apart from the collective fate of all blacks in America, the woman is also a victim of another kind of oppression arising from her gender.
We notice this partly in the opposition that arises from the older black community, which does not consider it normal that Beneatha should dream of becoming a female doctor. Her brother advises her to get married and forget about her crazy dreams.
Hers were dreams indeed, the impotent projections of the mind. The society has made them so. This matter assumes its bitterest peak in the delineation of Beau Willie Brown, the black veteran soldier.
Demented by the contradictions of the American society, he transfers his pent up cumulative frustrations on a black girl who, for her own obvious reasons, refuses to accept his hand in marriage. She becomes both the indirect but no less brutalized victim of that which victimizes the man, and also the direct victim of its cruel metamorphosis.
Willie does not suppose that the woman should have a say even in matters of her own life.Published in , Toni Cade Bambara's The Black Woman continues to speak to many African-American women's experiences three decades later.
1 This edited volume of critical essays, poetry, and. Racism in Literature The following entry discusses the topic of racism in twentieth century literature.
The subject of racism has been a lively topic for critical debate since approximately the. Feminism and Racism in African American Literature Words May 4th, 8 Pages Throughout literature, feminism and racism have played crucial roles in the lives of the characters and plotlines in stories and novels.
African-American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. It begins with the works of such late 18th-century writers as Phillis caninariojana.com the high point of slave narratives, African-American literature was dominated by autobiographical spiritual narratives.
Feb 22, · A History of Race and Racism in America, in 24 Chapters. Image. The canon of African-American literature is well established.
the story shows a black woman finding happiness beyond abusive. Feminism and Racism in African American Literature Words | 8 Pages. Throughout literature, feminism and racism have played crucial roles in the lives of the characters and plotlines in stories and novels.