100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 7 pages.
Kandace HuddlestonENGL 3260 – Black American LiteratureWatsonDue: 7 November 2016Miscegenation & Colorism in the Narrative of Frederick Douglass and its Modern DayImplicationsMiscegenation and colorism is deeply rooted in the purposely undocumented history of African Americans. Among historical documents that offer us a greater understanding of miscegenation and colorism is the Narrative of Frederick Douglass. In this slave narrative Douglass tells us about his life from about the age of seven up until he gained his freedom in September of 1838. Douglass tells the tale of some of the most brutal practices of slavery and its effects. In order to truly understand these ideologies, we must closely examine the history of Africans from the day we were taken from our homeland, to the day we landed on what we now call the United States of America. From there we can understand how miscegenation shaped a brand new ideology known as colorism, that became most popular during the 20th century and still proves to be relevant in modern day America when it comes to self-hatred and opportunities amongst blacks.Europeans were the first to initiate black-white sexual encounters at the beginning of the slave trade in the 16th century. In order to be more easily accessible to white sailors, black women and children were allowed more mobility on slave ships than their male counterparts. Since slaves were equal to property just as animals and objects, they were allowed no rights to their own bodies. Because of this, the law did not recognize marriage or parenthood of African slaves, thus no record of sexual abuse in courts, government, or the press [Sus16]. In an excerpt from the Encyclopedia of the Middle Passage, it is suggested that the pattern of rape that these
Kandace HuddlestonENGL 3260 – Black American LiteratureWatsonDue: 7 November 2016women and children were subjected to had little to do with sexual urges and was rather an assertion of dominance over the Africans. A passage from the book reads, “But, when viewed from the perspective that the crew and slave merchants have been away from their homes where they could have easily been filled with pent updesires for many months, it then becomes apparent that sexual abuse and rape during the Atlantic voyage served both the purpose of letting off the steam as wellas gratifying the desire to dominate the Africans.” [Toy07]The pattern of sexual exploitation began during the middle passage and continued on into the New World.