Role of Men in Inequality, Racism, and Poverty among African Americans
The black community, or rather the African Americans, has continuously faced hardships in the United States of America due to their inferiority to the whites in the US. The superiority complex heightens to the extent that the males among the black community have as well contributed to racism, inequality, and poverty among the African Americans. A number of events have put the black men in a position where they also express their revenge for the hatred they feel towards the whites to their fellow black women, hence contributing to endless inequality and other challenges that are faced by the majority of black men and women for centuries.
Men have played a huge role in helping people understand the effects of poverty, inequality, and racism among the African Americans following the situations they go through on a daily basis as well as since childhood. The domination of male gender among the African Americans has attributed to continued gender inequality within the black community. The male dominance has also shed light onto the effects of racism in the black community in a manner that women and children of the black community face most of the consequences from racism and inequality experienced by the males.
Several books have attributed the role men and boys play in clearly showing how the effects of poverty and racism as well as inequality are felt mostly by the inferior persons of the black community and these happen to be children and women. The authors bring out clear tales and stories of black people and their life stories within the racism stigma among other hardships that they go through and the impact of such stigmas. The males are discussed in a detailed coverage of the stories of their life from childhood to adulthood. Toni Morrison is an author of the book The Bluest Eye. The book brings out several themes from the lives of all the characters including prostitution, racism, incest, domestic violence, poverty, and many other issues while paying attention to how male characters portray the themes and the effects of the themes on the marginalized members of the black community.
The book gives a main character known as Pecola who is a young child living in hardships from the family and also at her school. The young girl contributes to showing the character of most black men and how they treat their women and other members of the society (Morrison 36). The girl has neither love nor care from the family due to the way in which the father and the mother treat her. Racism is brought out with Pecola hating her physical appearance as she is told of how ugly she appears to most men. The role of males in stigmatizing racism erupts when Pecola thinks she is not beautiful and needs to have blue eyes like white girls to be beautiful. Pecolas obsession with blue eyes brings out the theme of racism as the society, particularly the males, has deemed beauty to be peculiar of the whites as the black girls are ugly.
Cholly is a character in the book who is Pecolas father. The character trait of Cholly is that of an alcoholic who does not care for or respect his wife and children by being the bread winner. Cholly plays the role of showing the irresponsibility of most men, especially from the black race. The character of Cholly is observed when he comes home drunk and further goes ahead to ask money from the wife Pauline. Cholly is irresponsible and does not take care of his wife and children Pecola and Sammy. Poverty is heightened among the black community by men who willingly refuse to have jobs that can support their families.
The reason for Chollys behavior is attributed by his childhood situation where he is mocked by two white men who watch him lose his virginity to Darleen, a girl from his childhood days. Cholly resents women and lives his life hopping form one woman to another due to the mockery he received. The fact that Cholly was mocked by the white men attributes racism where the men had power over Cholly who was black. Cholly finally settles and marries Pauline whom he tortures and fights with violently both orally and physically. Domestic rivalry is displayed in Cholllys behavior.
Men in the story are simply disrespectful to women, hence bringing out inequality among the black community. The men seem to be superior as they are beaten up by their employers who happen to be white men and thereafter these black men pass their anger from work to their women and children at home. Inequality and poverty are brought out by the men in the book where white men are the majority of the employers in towns and the black men and women work for them for very little money, posing a threat to the living standards of the black community, which remains to be low. However, there is a group of black women who are hard-working and have good livelihoods with their black husbands. Not all black people are poor and this evokes inequality among the black men and women. The black women in church appear to be in control of their homes and live without violence with their husbands.
Piccolo is raped by the dad one evening after he arrives home drunk as usual. The rape occurs a few other times, but Pauline refuses to believe Cholly could rape his own daughter. Incest is clear in the story where Pecola becomes pregnant with the fathers baby. Child molestation is evoked when Pauline keeps beating up Pecola as well as the father continues raping her. The African American men represent violence and come out as therapists in the society where they go to the extent of raping their own children as Cholly does. Racism continues to take effect, especially when the rumors about Pecola being raped by her own father spread around. The white community continues to isolate the black community due to such behaviors of the African American men.
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Maureen, a student at Pecolas school, is favored by teachers and liked more by the boys due to her light skin as opposed to Pecola, Claire, and Frieda who are dark skinned. This form of favoritism to Maureen displays racism and inequality in school. Maureen insults Pecola and her friends due to the fact that they are pure black Americans. Further in the story, Soaphead, a black Indian man, cannot marry any black woman as it is known to be illegal in the family. Their aim to marry white women is to whiten their offspring. This majorly contributes to racism from men with black origin who refuse to marry their own black women.
Poverty is displayed through the males who are not hard-working. Pecola lives in a three-roomed house where they all share a bedroom. The family has a spoilt couch, which they struggle to pay for. On the other hand, after Cholly is imprisoned and Pauline goes to live with her white employer, Pecola rents a room from a group of three prostitutes who live above her house. The building also houses an old man and other people, which displays poverty among the black community as opposed to the wealthy whites who are capable of housing their workers, as is the case with Pauline.
The males play a role in portraying racism in the case of Pauline while she was giving birth to Pecola. The doctor teams up with medical students on practice while helping Pauline with her labor. The doctor goes ahead and compares African American women with donkeys in the sense that they both allegedly never undergo pain during birth unlike the white women who are more human than the blacks. This idea of racism is brought up by the white doctor who tries to poison his students with the idea that whites are more humane than blacks who share some attributes with animals, for instance, donkeys. Pauline returns home from hospital feeling inferior to the white women.
Another book that describes the life of the African Americans back in the early years of civilization is by a black writer known as Zora Hurston. The book is titled Their Eyes Were Watching God and gives a story of the life of a black community among the whites. The supremacy of the whites over the alleged evil deemed to come from the African Americans is discussed in a political aspect by the writer. The book is firm in showing protest to end racism, though its publication received massive rejection back in the past century. The author focuses on issues based on facts from the life of African Americans in the economical and political sector at large.
The main character in the book is a young girl who is of an African American origin, Janie Crawford who appears to be focusing on her future in terms of the equality of the black and white in opportunities. The girl is described generally as the one who is vibrant in looking and digging information on issues facing the black community, but the one who is voiceless as her grievances are difficult to be solved. The story portrays the aggressiveness of Janie who wishes a bright and equal life for herself as well as for the rest of the African Americans in the white dominated country. The whole idea of the writer is to give details or raise questions about the destiny of the black community with the prevailing whites supremacy.
The book gives a simple history of the lifestyle that the African Americans lived in the 1920s under the whites superiority. The political scene portrays whites dominating most or rather all the seats in the government and other top seats and governing over the black community. The role of men in this scenario is portrayed in enhancing inequality among the human race. The leaders of the country and state are majorly men who fail to include women in governance, hence causing the inequality. The white dominance is not only among the white community, but also within the blacks where their representatives were particularly male dominated. Inequality surfaces mostly due to the fact that black men are not included in any political office, hence causing racism.
The main character Janie brings out several themes that poverty is not necessarily an issue of the black community as she is married to Stark who happens to be the town mayor. (Hurston 45). However, Starks represents the men who want leadership without the presence or assistance of their wives, which is a common issue in the modern world. Stark is successful in his political career, but fails to recognize and love his wife Janie genuinely and uses her to boost his image as a mayor. Stark makes his wife work tirelessly in their shop to please the public and encourages them to be as hard-working as the wife. The life of Janie changes after the death of Stark when she gets married to another man.
The men in the story who apparently are Cakes friends turn against Janie after she is charged with murder at the judiciary. The men play the role in portraying their loyalty to their dead friend, though unfairness emerges. The most noticeable scene in the story is when white women come in to support Janie in her case, though racism takes a toll when she is released due to the help of the white women. The jury being an all-white team recognizes the friendship of the white women with Janie and uses that to make their judgment, and Janie is released.
However, men are described as rapists and heartless people after the story of Janies mother who bore Janie from a rape case. The grandmother of Janie got as well pregnant form her owner, hence the symbolic nature of black men as evil and rapists emerges. Poverty is also portrayed as Janies grandmother wishes to get a good life from marrying off Janie to a rich man in the neighborhood. The life of single black women is described through Janies family where the men in their life are irresponsible and do not take charge of the pregnancies of Nanny and Janies mother. Nanny represents the title of the book, which describes the hope in which most slave black women look up to the end of their miserable lives under white supremacy.
The book Uncle Toms Children is a set of stories by Richard Wright who is an African American writer describing the racism at large. In his stories, the author gives several experiences of the African American boys from childhood up until adulthood (Wright 20). The book gives some of the encounters in which small boys were killed by the whites, and as they grow up they end up fearing for their lives all throughout the adulthood. The African American boys who were caught up by a white woman swimming and were murdered while trying to get to their clothes is a story of how the black community has encountered racism in all dimensions regardless of age. The story plays a role in showcasing racism in the essence that the whites do not care about the age as long as the one is black and must be eliminated. The males are the main victims of racial wars and they play a role in portraying them as the marginalized in the story. Richard Wright gives his stories from his experiences from when he was a boy.
Harriet Jacobs is an African American writer who describes her life as a black woman in her narrative Incidents in the life of a slave girl. The narrative is among many narratives that give stories on the plight of blacks, particularly black women, during the civil war (Foster 42). The story of Harriet is clear and sad as she evokes the story of her life as a slave. As a slave, Harriet struggles to work and fight his master who makes advances on her in a bid to have sexual relations with her. Men play the role of being inhumane in the sense that they used black women as sexual objects. The theme of racism emerges as Harriet eventually gets a white man who portrays the idea of interaction between two races and symbolizes that racism can come to an end as slaving of the black community did. The life of Harriet, despite the struggle as a black woman, finally becomes smooth.
In conclusion, it is evident that men have played a huge role since the early centuries in promoting inequality in terms of gender, race, and age. The racial differences were intense in the early centuries with the whites dominating over the lives of blacks. The blacks enslavement portrays racism as well as the nature of most black men due to the struggles they went through with the white masters. The black men rape women and conduct all kinds of assault, hence displaying gender inequality. Poverty is seen among the blacks when they serve as slaves in the early centuries. Men, however, portray their role in the effects of poverty, inequality, and racism.