Tag: african

Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Slavery and the Haunting that Persists.

Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a novel about the enslavement of Black Americans and its lasting emotional, physical and psychic effects. It takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio right before and after the Civil War. Beloved is the story of Sethe, a woman so strong, she survives the unthinkable, over and over and over again. Beloved is the name of the angry baby girl haunting the home of her younger sister, Denver, and Sethe, the mother who murdered her. The ghost, in her eighteen-month-old, non-physical form has driven everyone else out of the house, including Sethe’s two sons whom she tried...

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Systemic Racism and the Monsters it Makes of White People

In her book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers details through exhaustive research the role white women played in the slave trade of the American South. In this intricately detailed book she displays how white women were empowered by being slave owners, and used this power consciously and intentionally to abuse, exploit and often engage in the commerce of black bodies and lives—separating the enslaved from their loved ones—to leverage their position in society and financially advance themselves. In contrast to previously promoted depictions that white women in the...

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Ona Judge: “I am free, and have, I trust, been made a child of God by that means” American (1773-1848)

Ona Judge’s freedom meant more to her than anything, in spite of what those who chose to enslave her believed. Her life was, in fact, not good as an enslaved woman. Contrary to what many slave owners of the time believed or used as the rationale and excuse to continue to participate in keeping human beings as property, she was not better off being a slave than being free. Ona was enslaved by a prosperous family on their plantation in the colony of Virginia. At age ten Ona, called Oney, was taken into the home and trained to be...

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Maryse Condé: “Astute Scholar with a Mighty Pen” French Guadaloupean (b.1937)

Maryse Condé’s novel Segu is set in the kingdom of Segu (1797) on the Niger river in what is mainly present-day Mali, but was once the empire of the Bambaras. Condé dedicates the book to her Bambara ancestress. The book is the story of the Traore family, Bambara royalty. We follow the lives of the patriarch, Dousika and his four sons from four different wives. The Segu of the Traores is a land of griots (storyteller singers) and villagers living in a compound sprawling with groups of conjoined huts separated by courtyards full of wooden stools, watched over by...

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