The Women’s Struggle for Equality in Black America – Then and Now
While reviewing the history of Africans in America it has been shown that black women worked in the field, nursed the children, prepared the meals and attended to the house while the men were the head of household and the family. The men were also leaders in the aspects of their community. While women performed all these roles, domestic violence and incest were prevalent, a fact that black men tried to deny. With all the duties they performed black women had also been the backbone of churches and civil organizations in the black community. But, once again, the males took the leadership role in the churches and civil organizations, even though the women did all of the hard work.
Black women were also limited in their occupational pursuits during this time. It was acceptable for black women to be teachers and nurses, but careers such as doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers were strictly a man’s profession. Even driving a truck, working on an assembly line or plant was considered taboo for women during this time.
Thankfully, much has changed in black America in the struggle for women’s equality. The changes have occurred because black men and black women are finally standing together in the common fight against racial oppression and economic exploitation. Black women are no longer content to play a secondary role in their freedom and equality struggle. They are no longer content to only prepare the meals, nurse the children and attend to the house. Being a housewife is a perfectly acceptable and respectful profession, but they deserve and want the freedom to choose. They will settle for nothing less than to fulfill their hopes and dreams, just as white women have. They will not rest until they are free of prejudices and misconceptions.
With all that said, they are also continuing the struggle to change some black man’s perceptions. Black men should not feel threatened by the black woman success, whether that success is in their family or their careers.
Although, the black women struggle has improved greatly when compared to prior history there are still many obstacles that need to be overcome. If men and women, regardless of race, all stand together and rally for equality for women of every race, then one day we will all be able to declare, free at last.