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Black womans body and personal identity - Essay Example

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The purpose of this research has been carried out to give an emphasis into how the idea of the black woman's body and personal identity has changed over time. In the 19th century, many black women felt inferior to white women due to the color of their skin and the various different characteristics of the two cultures…
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Black womans body and personal identity
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"Black womans body and personal identity"

However, this research shows that even in that period black women did value their bodies and appearance as they do now in today's time. Through a brief look in history and comparing this today this research brings cohesion into the many thoughts and ideas there have been about how black women were viewed in the past and how they felt about themselves. The purpose of this research has been carried out to give an emphasis into how the idea of the black woman's body and personal identity has changed over time. In the 19th century, many black women felt inferior to white women due to the color of their skin and the various different characteristics of the two cultures.However, this research shows that even in that period black women did value their bodies and appearance as they do now in today's time. Through a brief look in history and comparing this today this research brings cohesion into the many thoughts and ideas there have been about how black women were viewed in the past and how they felt about themselves.In conclusion it gives the point that black women have learned to respect their bodies far more than what they use to and have come to appreciate what they have been attributed with in their feminine form.Throughout history there has been a unique idea into how women have felt about their personal identity especially that of their feminine body in comparison to that of other cultures, especially white women. What is well known in this period of time is how the color of a woman's skin had a strong influence in where she would find herself in society. In the 19th century women of color realized that their bodies and even their personal feelings towards their bodies placed them in a specific category. Unfortunately, color had an adverse affect on status and more often than not black women were criticized for their darker skin tone, larger derriere, and ample bosom which in some ways placed a complex onto black women (Cherniavsky 1995).
Furthermore, in this period of time there was an idea known as, "republican womanhood" of which women of color were excluded from being categorized in due to the color of their skin and their different bodily traits as well. This can be seen even within the many women's movements in the 1820's and 30's and with white women's move to try and abolish slavery against black women. Even though many white women made their voices heard it is assumed that their motives where not to bring equality to the skin colors or the body images because they still wanted to have the dominance of these facets over other ethnic backgrounds. What is shown to be profound is that the voices and images of white women were meant to end the idea of slavery period, not racial dividedness (Yancy 2000). This created quite a bit of adversity onto women of color as they were trying to make their own place in their social world just as white women were attempting to do as well. Some historians state that it was the idea of white supremacy that altered black women's ideas about their bodies. Obviously they had feelings of inferiority about themselves despite the facts that they did their best to take care of themselves and their bodies (Cherniavsky 1995). This very exclusion and isolation prevented black women from having any form of a naturalization of identity with their womanhood in society as well as marring their own sexual identity also. Again, this was due to the fact of the white supremacist way of thinking but because of it, it is found that black women who were in slavery where stripped of their own gender identity and only referred to as "breeders" when it came to the idea of motherhood, a concept that was demoralizing to the true sexual identity of the black woman in the 19th century (Cherniavsky 1995).
The differences between white women and black women and bodily identity then was the fact that white women were given a place due to the abilities of their gender while although black women had the same natural abilities they were denied any acknowledgement, making it appear that the white woman's body was more influential and meaningful in society than a black woman's. As white Read More
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