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Transcript of SISTER CITIZEN
Quwnarri Terry Sister Citizen Crooked Room "African American women as mammies served to challenge critics who argued that slavery was harsh and demeaning. After all mammies were depicted as being happy and content with their duties as servants" (Perry 72)
Mammy was a central figure in myth making
Mammy becomes important as an idea in the context of freedom and the emergence of black women’s citizenship
The mammy is oftetn misrecognized
Acceptable example of black womanhood "Mammy" The politics of Recognition Sister Politics Sterotypes and Shame Citizenship Major Themes Crooked Room Myth of promiscuity Mammie Angry black Woman Responding to Mammie Stereotypes and Shame Black Women's Crooked Room Eliza Gallie was a free black wealthy woman who lived in Petersburg, Virginia before the Civil War.
•In 1853 she was charged for stealing cabbages from a white man’s garden and found guilty and therefore sentenced to be publicly whipped on her back.
In 2002, 149 years later from Eliza Gallie’s event Chana Kai Lee a professor for the University of Georgia and the author of an award winning biography suffered a stoke•Even with her serious condition she was forced to resume teaching because “the state is concerned about sick leave abuse” (44)
•Both these women were both victims of stereotypes; Gallie was judge because black women were seen as dishonest and criminals while Lee was judge on the image of a “welfare cheat”.
•Statistics reveal the inequality between both black and white women. -One in four black women live in poverty, double the rate of a white woman-Likely to divorce, never marry, widow young therefore raise their children without a husband leaving their children to not have the same opportunity as if they were raised by a white women-have better living circumstances & health conditions
•Sisters are more then their sharing disadvantages; “they are agents who craft meaning out of their circumstances and do so in complicated and diverse ways”. Even with these share disadvantages not all women an share the same ideas, beliefs, and feelings.
•However the situation is we see how statistics show how race and gender have a strong influence in the life opportunities that black women have. “Sister politics is about challenging negatives images, managing degradation, and resisting or accommodating humiliating representations”.(45) “We can characterize African American women’s struggle with the slanted images of the crooked room as a problem of recognition- and important theme for political philosophers interested in issue of identify, differences, and citizenship. “(35) The Declaration of Independence assures citizens the right to safety freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. In exchange for that citizens are willing to follow laws, paying burdens in exchange for safety and social programs.
Taking recognition seriously means understanding that groups are as important as individuals for specifying the correct relationship between the state and it’s citizens. Crooked Room Harris-Perry conducted an experiment with a simple random sample of 43 different black women who were of complete different backgrounds (cities, generations, economic and family circumstances) to discuss black women as a whole and list the stereotypes or myth about them that society may hold.
Even with the different backgrounds that they held these women came to the same conclusion these stereotypes identify them as:
• Mammy- a domestic servant who had no sexual needs and was usually fat and loyal to white women and their children
• Jezebel-“maid” and a women who slept around with a lot of men
The “welfare queen” was one of the stereotypes that they thought was a fact due to a lot of black women living in that system.
97% of African American women are aware of the negative stereotypes and unfortunately 80% of them have been affected by theses stereotypes. Our society is shaped to judge African American women based on stereotypes that were created in history. The fact that they have to shape themselves in order to avoid being judged and to be accepted by society leads us to believe that America is itself a crooked room that women have to live in. They have to bend and twist to create an image that society wants to see. Response To Mammy A black woman proves that she is not a Mammy by refusing loyalty and coalition with white women and their domestic concerns
to show that they are not mammies black women are required to show racial loyalty.
Modern day mammy Myths of Promiscuity Myths pt2 Citizenship:
humanity The R&B singer allegedly videotaped himself having sex with a teenager and then showed a man peeing on the young girl. Almost instantly, black men and women rallied to his side, radio stations played 12 hour blocks of his music, and blacks protested in front of the courthouse. He was aquitted after a few weeks and even got a book published telling his side of the story. However nothing was done for the girl. Hypersexuality is one of the many stereotypes black women have to deal with. It was a deliberate characterization that was important in maintaining profitable exploitation of slave society, but when they were freed, it was used as a means if racial and gender control. Black women were portrayed and animalistic savages that would have sex with apes, and vile seductresses that would lure away white men from their good, pure, and chaste white women Double-Conscousness- "It's a peculiar sensation, this double-conscousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of always looking at one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity" (p.96) Angry Black Women