Attacks On African American Women

Great Essays
Attacks on domestic spaces and women’s bodies “drew on the gendered imagery to represent blackness as subordination and vice and whiteness as authority and power” (p. 180→Houses). Blacks were removed from communities of respectable citizens through the violence (p. 182→Houses). Despite emancipation and formal legal equality, violence conveyed a symbolism of the assailants’ visions for southern society’s hierarchical racial order (181→Houses). White men claimed mastery over their households, their property, and the security of their family members as a powerful link to popular constructions of manhood and citizenship. So, through attacks on domestic spaces, these men acted out the impossibility of African American men obtaining this same mastery. …show more content…
They did this by moving to larger cities, especially Atlanta, not only to seek economic self-sufficiency but for protection. Rural areas were more vulnerable to things that would deprive African Americans of life, liberty, and happiness but it also was more susceptible to causing the women to become victims of rape (p.277-278). The paid labor African American women were placed in were mainly domestic jobs in private homes, where they did laundry, cleaned, cooked, and did basic housework, especially since they were excluded from manufacturing plants. One of the advantages black women had was the ability to negotiate for higher wages, better hours, easier tasks, otherwise they would quit and look for something better, thus, having control but not always did negotiation work or finding a better job. Since a lot of African American women worked at home instead, even though they did not get paid they controlled the workload, hours, conditions, tasks, and they were away from white men coercion (p. 277). They played a big part in their political culture by telling the men how to vote and accompanying them to the polls, but also participating in parades, meetings, and wearing political buttons. Women pursued education so they could learn to read and write but the major thing that they did was reconstructed their family, or at least tried to. They did this through legalizing their marriages and finding …show more content…
With these acts of violence, white men of the south gained a few things. They were able to maintain their social hierarchy through demonstrating white power thus gaining white supremacy, power, and explicit purpose of their violence. They were able to diminish African Americans’ rights as citizens or freedpeople. They gained justice that they lost in the Civil War, especially mastery; they proved their masculinity and established the southern patriarchal authority. Lastly, many whites thought that they had to protect their own families from assault by former slaves; this is why they became a member of secret organizations (p. 192-193→Houses). They provided this protection to white women by being able to create the discourse of black violence. They claimed black men were raping white women and black women were not virtuous, and the reason for the vigilantism was black males were supposedly rapists of white

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