Salvage The Bones Character Analysis

1934 Words 8 Pages
Black women have been oversexualized throughout their existence. Since black women were taken from their homeland of African and brought to this country of America, there has been a constant oppression of black women through the stereotypes that have been created. Stereotypes with different meanings and connotations have been designed to explain and justify the behavior of black women. This ideology of oversexulization falls under the stereotype of the “Jezebel complex” which is the modern-day equivalent of a “freak” currently in today’s society. In Salvage the Bones, Esch’s character portrays characterization portray the Jezebel stereotype among black women and her “situationship” with Manny displays this phenomenon of black girls searching for intimacy through sex. From the times of slavery, there have been many images that society has developed about black women in America. It is important to understand the deep history of the Jezebel stereotype that black women have been subjected to, in order to comprehend what the stereotype actually is and the damage that it does to young black …show more content…
Esch also struggles with the desire to be strong and not codependent, but to be “strong” because that is what she thinks is attractive and desirable. Esch’s beliefs can be used to explain the way black women have constant pressure to be “strong”, which is something that is preached to black girls from the moment they are born. In Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, author, Chanequa Walker-Barnes, discusses the danger of the myth that black women must be “strong”. “She is incapable of saying ‘help’ as she is of saying ‘no’” (Barnes, 4) and this is what Esch lives out in her life. As a motherless child, she tries to navigate trying to be the motherly, strong individual. Often times this leads black women to put on masks to hide their

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