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University of South Africa African American Women Oppression Article Discussion

University of South Africa African American Women Oppression Article Discussion

Question Description

This is a complicated article but read it all! Our discussion, however, is focused on pages 77-82.

  • I just want you to pull or two things out of that section of the article and talk about it in your Discussion. What do you think about the points Patricia Hill Collins is making in this seminal piece?
  • Don’t forget to respond to THREE of your fellow students

First friend resound:

African American Women faced oppression throughout history. African American women exploited throughout slavery and during the shift to industrialization during the 19th century was painful to read. African American women had no autonomy over their own life, especially their bodies. It’s disgusting that enslaved women were commodified; Black women’s reproduction was controlled to benefit their owners. If black women chose not to have children, it’s considered resistance. On top of that, slave owners deemed being pregnant as a reward, as the workload would be less, and rations would be more. Another issue I wanted to point out was the exploitation of African American women’s employment wages. As African American women received opportunities for employment black women always had lower wages but higher chances of keeping the job. Whereas African American men had higher wages but vulnerable to layoffs. They were overworked as Elizabeth Clark-Lewis recounts, “the living-in jobs just kept you running; never stopped. Day or night…” I also wanted to include an example from the Rosie the Riveter. The propaganda video portrayed white women as having autonomy and had the right to leisure around, such as playing cards. Whereas African American women constantly continued to prove their worth to the industry. In the video, a black women spoke about her experience in looking for a shipyard position that had five openings, when she arrived with 3 white women, the employers rejected her even after completing schooling. She asked for a different job opportunity and had to prove that she was capable of wielding it. At the end of the day, she was offered a better pay at $1.05 than $0.85 for employment at the shipyard. Black women historically had to prove that they were capable of employment. Despite having to always prove their worth, they always ended up with dirty, unwanted jobs and the lowest pay. Even now, African-American women continue to resist this oppression.

Second friend resound:

When I read the article, the quote “enslaved African were property” described how much African Americans have to suffer during that time, in that cruel society where they cannot disobey their masters. The ridiculous thing is that the masters tried to maintain their slaves’ generations, so to maintain the race, class, and gender inequality that was “supposed” to happen in that society. I think the points Patricia Hill Collins is making in this seminal piece is the voice of African-Americans voices and their voices mattered, since throughout the whole article, she pointed out how much unfair they have to suffer and continue their way to do the “living-job”, like they got no other option to choose for themselves. She was emerging from the lived experiences of African-American women with work, with family, with love, with body politics, with health. She explained the life of being an African-American woman in the last century. In the article, she had mentioned about motherhood as well, I think that motherhood is not a downtrodden role but actually a place where black women can empower themselves, because they are affecting change in the world, like the way you raise your children is very important in how you affect change in the world.

Third friend resound:

The first things that attract my attention in this article by Hills Collins are the positive change in black lives after World War II. The landmark Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Right Act in 195 were two major achievements for black people. Meanwhile, they have received some other remarkable rights such as “ Accessing public education, Housing, and Jobs”which can be marked as the start of prosperity and happiness in their lives. Black people suffered a lot during salivary and after that. As a human being, they have the same rights as other scan colors do. I think No one should be treated differently based on their skin color, race, and beliefs. The second thing I like to talk about it is black men’s hope and dreams for the future. Everyone wants to have beautiful dreams for the future and struggling to achieve those. Sometimes the environment, cruelty, injustice, and discrimination will be the barriers that not let you achieve your dreams. In this article by Patricia hills Collins says,”many black men came to see their futures only in terms of being rap stars, basketball players, or drug dealers.” I do not agree with this point because no one wants to have a dark future but history of the past and credulity of the present, and the injustice can cause you to follow a path that you never thought about it before. Being a rap star, basketball players are not something to regret. A huge community should be judged based on a few people’s actions.


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