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African American Studies

In: Historical Events

Submitted By vbraden89
Words 4189
Pages 17
Victoria Braden
Jasmine Sullivan
AAAS 2000
23 April 14

1.) In chapter 1, Black women slaves were defined as either a “jezebel” or “mammy”. In detail define the characteristics of a “jezebel” and “mammy”. Why were black women defined in these two extreme ways? By contrast, how were Southern white women characterized? * One of the most standout images of black women in white slavery America was of a woman who ran entirely off of her sex drive, a Jezebel. A jezebel was considered to be the complete opposite of a proper white woman. She was thought to have little to none religious affiliation. A jezebel took no instances to cover her body, and showed no signs of prudery. The idea that black women were over-sexualized first gained credence when Englishmen went to Africa to buy slaves. Not being accustomed to the traditional wear, Europeans mistook semi-nudity for lewdness. They also misinterpreted African cultural tradition of polygamy and claimed to be the Africans' uncontrolled lust, tribal dances were considered to be an orgy. The travel accounts of Europeans spurred inaccurate analysis of black women livelihood. Perhaps it was the warm climate of Africa that prompted William Bosman to describe the women he saw on the coast of Guinea as "fiery" and "warm" and "so much hotter than the men."' William Smith must have fallen under the same influence, since he wrote of "hot constitution'd Ladies" who "are continually contriving stratagems how to gain a lover."' The conditions under which women worked, were sold and were punished also contributed to this way of thinking. Southerners were extremely prudish about what they felt a woman should be. A "respectable" white woman wore layers and layers of clothing and never exposed even her legs or arms to public view without approval of her husband and the acceptance of the community. The slave woman's body, however,...

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