Title of Abstract

Through the Eyes of Our Ancestors: The Power of the Black Female Creative

Submitting Student(s)

Jazlyn WilburFollow

Session Title

Humanities: Real Life and Literature

Faculty Mentor

Casey Cothran, Ph.D.; cothranc@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Faculty Mentor

Casey Cothran, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Black woman carries a hauntingly powerful legacy crafted by the soils of Africa, watered by the dew of the Atlantic, and fueled by glowing rays of sun. Yet, many only see her as a caricature living for the pleasure, enjoyment, and entertainment of others. A Black woman cannot express herself because doing so makes her angry and bitter, and her body serves as a stencil for those who want her shape and lips and as a fantasy. This paper analyzes how society uses the media, literature, and art to justify the need to police the bodies and expression (sexual and emotional) of Black women in America. The degradation, colonization, and exploitation of the Black female body during slavery justified inhumane treatment, such as rape, abuse, and more. This paper investigates the root of common stereotypes encapsulating Black womanhood and their detrimental effect on the well-being of Black women today. I argue that the re-membering of the Black female body and mind, which has been ripped apart by the white patriarchy, lies in the ancestral voice of the Black female creative. I support this argument by analyzing how authors Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and visual artist Renee Cox reimagine the beauty, sexuality, and expression of Black women in their work. Creative works originating from Black women about Black women are essential to the empowerment and development of young Black female minds because it confronts the stereotypes, redefines Black womanhood, and nurtures a sense of self-love and awareness.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

ENGL 494 - Cothran

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:45 PM

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Apr 16th, 12:45 PM

Through the Eyes of Our Ancestors: The Power of the Black Female Creative

The Black woman carries a hauntingly powerful legacy crafted by the soils of Africa, watered by the dew of the Atlantic, and fueled by glowing rays of sun. Yet, many only see her as a caricature living for the pleasure, enjoyment, and entertainment of others. A Black woman cannot express herself because doing so makes her angry and bitter, and her body serves as a stencil for those who want her shape and lips and as a fantasy. This paper analyzes how society uses the media, literature, and art to justify the need to police the bodies and expression (sexual and emotional) of Black women in America. The degradation, colonization, and exploitation of the Black female body during slavery justified inhumane treatment, such as rape, abuse, and more. This paper investigates the root of common stereotypes encapsulating Black womanhood and their detrimental effect on the well-being of Black women today. I argue that the re-membering of the Black female body and mind, which has been ripped apart by the white patriarchy, lies in the ancestral voice of the Black female creative. I support this argument by analyzing how authors Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and visual artist Renee Cox reimagine the beauty, sexuality, and expression of Black women in their work. Creative works originating from Black women about Black women are essential to the empowerment and development of young Black female minds because it confronts the stereotypes, redefines Black womanhood, and nurtures a sense of self-love and awareness.