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Women's Studies. Black women - Essay Example

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Life is not a bed of roses, especially not for women and specifically not if the women are black. Black women inherit life more as a bed of thorns, their only fault being the coloured skin covering them…
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Womens Studies. Black women
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"Women's Studies. Black women"

Download file to see previous pages Finding a website that focused solely on the lives and accomplishments of African women and/or on African-American women wasn't a piece of cake. There were websites that contained information about famous African-American people, who after a lot of struggle made it big as artists, musicians, sportsmen; or information posted about the blacks in the Black history month, but a website based entirely on African-American women's lives was not that easy to find. However, after skimming around numerous websites for about an hour and seeing if they had the required material, I came across docsouth.unc.edu, a website featuring the "First-Person Narratives of the American South", that provided voice to the minority groups (i.e, Southerners) who remained unheard or were not given the value they deserved. (The University Library, n.d.) One of the memoirs the site contains is of Joice Heth, a black woman who was born on the Island of Madagascar, on the Coast of Africa, in the year 1764, and lived up to around 161 years. She was a slave too, but her life was not nearly as bitter as most of the others of her kind, for she was blessed with the fortune of having kind masters. She is said to have been the nurse of George Washington since he was born, and this is one of the things, apart from her astounding age, that grabs the attention of people towards her. This memoir was published in 1835 and it also contains several testimonies of people who knew Joice, affirming her goodness and the belief that her piety could never be doubted. The Narrative of Bethany Veney, A Slave Woman: Electronic Edition is yet another story of a black slave, which shows that the right to education was a far off thing; she had to ask her master's permission to even go to Church (Malburne, n.d.). When she got married to a slave named Jerry, and later when he was sent tp jail and she went to visit him, she was not even allowed to meet him in private. "We had committed no offence against God or man. Jerry had not; and yet, like base criminals, we were denied even the consolation of privacy. This was a necessary part of the system of American slavery. Neither wife nor mother could intervene to soften its rigors one jot."(Collected Black Women's Narratives, 20) Highlights from Fanny Jackson Coppin's autobiography Reminiscences of School Life, and Hints on Teaching were also found in the website, which proved to be quite helpful in learning about the achievements of capable black women. Coppin, too, was born a slave in Washington DC in 1837, but luckily for her, she was bought by her aunt for $125. Her autpbiography shows how keen she was not inly to pursue education for herself, but also to do as much as possible to help and educate others. After taking a lot of diverse courses, she became so good at teaching that when she was chosen to teach a preparatory course at Oberlin, they feared the children would rebel against her due to her coloured skin, but instead, the children loved having her as their teacher so much that the course had to be divided until no more students could be added to it. In 1865 she joined Institute for Colored Youth(IYC) and in 1869 became the principal of it, where she worked on the dire need of providing vocational education to African Americans with very clear demands: "We do not ask that any one of our people shall be put into a position because he is a colored person, but we do most emphatically ask that he shall not be kept out of a position because he is a colored person" (Collected Black W ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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