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African american women

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African american women

African american women

It would be great if I could write this essay telling all about African American women, how they see the world, their perspectives on society, and their views on life in general, but being an eighteen year old white male it's a bit difficult. Fortunately, I have had the experience of reading three essays by African American women that may help in understanding these peoples experiences; "A Question of Lanuage" by, Gloria Naylor, "How it Feels to be Colored Me" by, Zora Neale Hurston, and "My Man Bovane" by, Toni Cade Bambara

After these three readings I have gained an insight into the lives of African American women. In Gloria Naylor's Essay, "A Question of Language" the use of the word "nigger" is questioned. I have always seen the word as derogatory and have always wondered why African Americans would use it as if it meant nothing. After reading this essay, by an African American woman I have a greater insight into why these people would use what I thought to be such a demeaning, demoralizing word. I can now see the word can have many meanings. "' In my third grade class' I remarked that once again (the little boy) had received a much lower mark than I did' he spit out that word'"(232) here I saw the meaning of the word that I saw, the only meaning I knew. A derogatory remark used to demean an African American person. Then as I read into the story more I saw another meaning, "'the word was always applied to a man who had distinguished himself' that brought approval for his strength, intelligence, or drive."(233) Here the word was used as praise. For the first time I could see through an African American person's eyes and understand what they understood. I also saw other meanings for the word such as "my nigger", term of endearment. I also learned when used as a plural it represented those who had no respect for themselves or others.

The second story, "How it Feels to be Colored Me" was an eye opener. When I read this story I was stupefied. "I remember the very day I became colored. Up to my thirteenth year I lived in the little Negro town of Eatonville, Florida."(99) Wow, this was something I really never though of before. This person really had no idea what it was to be colored, this person had no idea that there was a difference between white, black, and brown. I suppose in an ideal society this would be the case, but not living in an ideal society I was surprised. I've ...

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