Friday, January 8, 2016

Reading Claudia Tate's interviews. Maya Angelou

" Life is a gift, and I try to respond with grace and courtesy" Maya Angelou

Whigs & tories, christmas clothes, christmas tree shirt, pink, red, green, ricrac, ric-rac
photo from a few days before Christmas

I am reading a collection of interviews by Claudia Tate entitled "Black Women Writers at Work." I've only just started and it is pushing me already. Thoughts on feminism, being black vs being white, being a black women vs being a white woman, and time to write (or in my case lets just say 'create' ). Things like this always make me a bit peevish. And I have to remind myself that I chose this life. I can choose to change parts of it. But other parts I am committed to see through. Child rearing for instance - I have one who will soon be graduating from High School and I have one in kindergarten...

Maya Angelou said something that I've never heard before and it really struck me. 
Claudia Tate asked: What has been the effect of the women's movement on black women?
Angelou: Black women and white women are in strange positions in our separate communities. In the social gatherings of black people, black women have always been predominant. That is to say, in the church it's always Sister Hudson, Sister Thomas and Sister Witheringay who keep the church alive. In lay gatherings it's always Lottie who cooks, and Mary who's going over to Bonita's where there is a good party going on. Also, black women are the nurturers of children in our community. White women are in a different position in their social institutions. White men, who are in effect their fathers, husbands, brothers, their sons, nephews and uncles, say to white women, or imply in any case: "I don't really need you to run my institutions. I need you in certain places and in those places you must be kept - in the bedroom, in the kitchen, in the nursery, and on the pedestal." Black women have never been told this. Black women have not historically stood in the pulpit, but that doesn't undermine the fact that they built the churches and maintain the pulpits. The people who have historically been heads of institutions in black communities have never said to black women - and they, too, are their fathers, husbands, brothers, their sons, nephews and uncles - "We don't need you in our institutions." So there is a fundamental difference.

This has been knocking about in my head for two days. I'm kind of chewing on it I guess.

Wondering if people agree or disagree?

1 comment:

troutbirder said...

There is a difference. I hesitate to go back to the institution of slavery and its effects on family life and other things. So I just wonder about and keep my thoughts to myself. Probably not a good stance...:(