AFROAMER 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Bloody Kisses, Slave Narrative, Harriet Ann Jacobs

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AFRO AMER 271 - Lecture 4 - Black Fine Arts during Colonial Era (1/26/17)
Looking back at slavery, we differentiate between slaves just as male and female without
other aspects of identity given to them
Does slave narrative structure serve as a framework for other black art or is it only used
within itself?
Helped create future gospel, blues, arts and literature
Wounded attachment to past impedes progress
Living under the nose of the oppressor
Analogy for black communities where white-dominant government runs things
Harriet Jacobs is free from scrutiny of oppressor and watches family through the hole
near her master’s plantation
W.E.B. DuBois : African Americans are born with a veil
Veil: metaphor for the identity an observer assigns a person
A person projects an “identity” of who you are instead of the actual you
For example, a white male may look at our professor, Anthony Black, as a
Jamaican drug dealer
African Americans see themselves and the projection of the observer
There is a sort of power in being able to exploit a projection
One difference in male slave narratives versus female slave narratives is that the
speaker escapes by himself
Portrays the role of men in society and their connection to family
Women slave narratives shows connection to children and family and usually have the
family come with
Portrays the role of women and their connection to their family
For males, masculinity = freedom
A male has to portray masculinity to be observed as a man who deserves
freedom like the white men -- have to live up to the standard of being a man
The idea of a man needing to be masculine is a very assimilationist definition of a
man
The narrative written by male slaves are meant for white men who like violence
and the concept of masculinity to superiorize themselves
Kendi argues assimilation is racist because it requires taking up “white” normality and
standards
anti-racism : rejection of racist ideas that asserts one race to be better than another
A female slave narrative, especially Jacobs’, is concerned with virtue
The cult of true womanhood
Responsibility of childcare
Not projective negativity outwards
Being a good Christian woman
Ideally a level of inhuman perfection
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