Women and Adversity: Black Women in America

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker

 The U.S. Constitution has amendments banning discrimination, but does it matter? Countless examples of alleged discrimination make headlines today, mostly against black men. What about black women?

First Lady Michelle Obama expressed her concerns in a “People” magazine article in December 2014. Of her shopping excursion to a Washington, D.C.-area Target store in 2011, she says, “Even as the first lady,” she told the magazine, “during the wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf.” It’s reprehensible to treat our First Lady in such a manner.

Maya Angelou records other accounts of discrimination as does Oprah Winfrey. Author Alice Walker, who grew up in segregated Georgia, writes of how black women, specifically Celie in “The Color Purple,” experience discrimination and domestic violence. The book won her the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 1983.

Discrimination is learned. So what can be done about it?

  • Teach equality from the time a child is born.
  • Expunge discriminatory words from your vocabulary.
  • Read accounts of black women’s experiences and how they have risen above discrimination.
  • A starting point is Women of the Congressional Black Caucus: http://www.avoiceonline.org/cbcwomen.

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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