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 published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and goodreads.com to learn more.

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