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Angela Davis Women, Race, & Class, she provides historical context,
specifically in The Meaning of Emancipation According to Black
Women, Davis provides details about life after the abolishment of
slavery in the US. She describes extensively how African Americans
were still treated as slaves. African American women specifically still
worked long hours performing domestic duties for formerly slave-
owning families. Additionally, women were given haphazard contracts
that their employers did not respect or follow, and had to accept

payment other than money. Also, prison labor became extremely

common, as African Americans were arrested on site without provocation, and were
given penalties and fines that had to be worked off in the fields. The purpose of this book
was to illuminate the plights and struggles of black women throughout history. The
audience of this text is likely black men and women, as well as women of color of other
races, and even in some instances, white women. The genre of this book would be of a
historical nature. Her main argument encompasses intersectionality as an age old idea,
as well as the idea that African American women have been put on the back burner for
many years, including how they were treated during their slave days as well as the days
immediately following, and how long it has taken, and the strides that still need to be
taken, in order to give equality to women of color.

Davis provides much-needed historical context, especially in the sense that a traditional
view of American history is distorted through the eyes of a white savior complex.
Everything is maligned to paint the white side of history, and leave out the more extreme
grievances against people of color. Davis historical representation, versus the
somewhat misconstrued representation students are presented with during traditional
history classes, displays how the distorted view of history provides a false sense of
progress concerning the racial oppression of African Americans in America, especially
black women.

After the end of slavery, black women were still performing predominantly domestic jobs:
they often took jobs as, cooks, nursemaids, washerwomen, chambermaids, hucksters,
and janitresses and were caught up in conditions just as bad as, if not worse than it
was during slavery. The version of events that is presented as history paints abolition
as highly successful, and lead to the freedom of all the slaves. The reality of what former
slaves faced was very different.

This book overall presents a new narrative of historical events. New in the sense that
traditional history classes do not deeply cover the realities of life after slavery. These
events display the reality of life after slavery. In my opinion, traditional historical texts
offer a false sense of progress in the fight against racial oppression. The abolishment of
slavery did not produce equality for black men and women; it merely granted them the
freedom white men and women already enjoyed. It was
not until 1965 that some semblance of rights were fully
granted. While men were given the right to vote as early
as the 1870s, there were so many restrictions, and laws
that prevented African Americans from voting that many

of them did not bother. This is a false sense of progress. Just granting African
Americans the right to vote did not guarantee they would be able to. Especially when the
government ruled that the laws were not necessarily discriminatory because they were
not designed with race in mind.

Another instance of false progress is segregation, separate

but equal. Everything marked colored was often shoddily
made and did not function properly. Being granted things
that were equal but that were only half mustered reinforced
the idea that African Americans did not deserve the same
level of comfort because they were not on the same level of
humanity, but because they were given the same
commodities, it was decided that this was enough progress. http://social.rollins.edu/wpsites/thirdsight/2016/11/21/racial-

All of these instances give off the imitation of progress, but even today black men and
women have not reached full equality. Black people are still racially profiled for being
black; Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castile are
just a small number of people who have died at the hands of racial profiling. This cases
where men and women lost their lives simply for being black displays the true prejudice
that still haunts America. These people were targeted outside of their crimes because of
their race.

In 2016 Google came under fire because of the search

unprofessional hair which resulted in images of black
women with naturally curly hair. These images sparked
outrage online as many people deemed them racist over the
results. The pictures were eventually changed/ removed, but
the reality remained the same: black hair was seen as
somehow unprofessional even though it did not change the https://twitter.com/BonKa
abilities of the employees at all. Not even the fact that it was just curly, but the tfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F

accompanying pictures of black women made a clear statement that was unjust to all %2Ftechnology%2F2016%
African American women. results-prove-algorithms-

These are small examples of the social inequality African Americans still face. To
actually believe equality has been reached in the US is to say that treating African
Americans as people of equal substance has already happened. However, saying this
displays ones privilege and is to be blind to the reality of how black men and women are
treated and perceived.

On the heels of a historical election, Americans elected a

man who spewed hateful rhetoric for people of color. Under
his leadership, KKK and Nazi affiliates feel safe taking the
streets and chanting their beliefs. This is yet another
example of the oppression that still haunts black people in
the United States. Especially considering the KKK and their
heinous acts are not even 100 years removed, and these
fresh incidences are all too familiar to the black community. http://www.libertynation.com/white-nationalists-counter-

Just because there are small victories does not mean that there has been true progress,
because there are still many misconstrued beliefs. People who do not face the realities,
myself included, cannot truly understand what it is like. There are
many people who believe that because there is no longer slavery,
because of the civil rights movement, there is no longer racism, and
that black people are not treated any differently than white people.
trayvon-sandra-and- This not a reality. The black lives matter vs. all lives matter
movement is a prime example of this. Critics of black lives matter
often state that there is no reason to single them out. However, in
my opinion, while yes, all lives do matter, and no one is disputing
that, the lives of Philando Castile and Trayvon Martin mattered but ended because of
their skin color, and preconceived notions associated with said skin color. For black
women especially, the women who hold the position as the most highly educated group
of people in America, there are still many strides that need to be made to give them the
respect and equality they deserve.










Davis, Angela Y. Women Race & Class. Women's Press, 1981.