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Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks as Examples of Strong African American Women

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IIn society, as an African American woman, I face numerous obstacles along the way. I learned about a lot of things that seem unequal in a lot of places. It shows that things shouldn’t be a certain way, that everyone should be treated equally instead of being treated unfairly. It’s time for America to start making changes and start treating black women the way that they deserve to be treated. I feel that throughout history African American women have been going through so many challenges that have been thrown their way. It’s hard being a woman but as an African American Women it’s even harder. As a black woman, we have a history for fighting for our rights and fighting for equal pay in the workplace.

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Back in the day African Americans were treated like they were someone’s property. Meaning men looked at women as sex object instead of treating women with respect. During slavery times, slave owners would rape their slaves just to satisfy their lust desires. They didn’t care how that would affect the women. Slave owners were only looking out for their needs and themselves. Did you know during slavery time that the population increased because of rape? That means that rape was one of the reasons why the population of slaves had increase over that time period. Did you also know that another term for rape back in the day was also called Slave Breeding? Slave breeding means those practices of slave ownership that aimed to influence the reproduction of slaves in order to increase the profit and wealth of slaveholders. Another interesting fact I found is some female slaves called “fancy maids” were sold at auction into concubinage or prostitution, which was termed the “fancy trade.” Concubine slaves were the only class of female slaves who sold for higher prices than skilled male slaves. When I learn about that, it truly disgusts me that men had no regards for women at all. It’s sad that some men treated women like property or even treated as if they are trash. An intriguing fact I learned was that in the early years of Louisiana, French men took wives and mistresses from among the slaves and often freed their mixed-race children and sometimes the mistresses as well. Another point I like to add is some mothers negotiated settlements or dowries for their daughters to be mistresses to white men. If you really think about it, it shows that some women were just as bad as the men. Disappointing that some women would even do that to their own daughters. It makes you wonder if people even have any morals for themselves or even have a heart.

During slavery times a lot of African American females fought for their voting rights but also for equal rights for African Americans as well. For example, Ruby bridges was the first African American female to attend an all-white elementary school. When I look at, at that perspective it shows me that she was brave and fearless when it came down to the challenges, she faced during that time period. Even when she was harassed constantly, that didn’t stop her at all. Instead the situation taught her to be strong but to also face any problem or challenge that came her way. Also shows that she’s not scared of a challenge. This example shows that as a black woman, no matter what life throws at us, we know that its going to make us stronger in the end.

Did you know that Rosa parks wasn’t the first black woman who refused to give up her seat? It was a fifteen-year-old female named Claudette Colvin who refused to give up he front seat on the bus. She was also arrested for not doing so. This shows that as a black woman we are mistreated on several occasions throughout history. Also did you know that this wasn’t the first time that Rosa Parks was arrested. In fact, she arrested for breaking segregation laws during the Montgomery bus boycott. Also found out she was active in politics. In 1943 she was a part of Montgomery, Alabama chapter of the NAACP and served as secretary up until 1956. Part of her responsibilities was traveling across the state and interviewing victims of discrimination and witnesses to lynching. After moving from Alabama to Detroit, Parks worked as an assistant to U.S. Representative John Conyers, where she helped find housing for homeless people.

Amelia Boynton was known for fighting for voting rights for African Americans. In fact, in 1934 Amelia Boynton she was able to get American Americans to registered to vote in Alabama. She was also the first African American female candidate to run for office but also was the first woman to run for the Democratic party in Alabama. From 1964 to 1965, she helped demonstrations for civil and voting rights campaigns alongside Martin Luther King and other civil right leaders. I would like to mention that she was part of Dallas County Voters League. Last point I would like to add is 11,000 African Americans was registered to vote after the passage of the voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed.

Dorothy Height was known for being civil rights and woman’s right activist for addressing rights and opportunities for African American women. In 1957 till 1997 she was the president of the National Council of Negro Women. The purpose of the organization is increase opportunities for African American Women. She was also apart of the Council for the United Civil Rights Leadership. Interesting fact I learned was she helped organized 1963 March on Washington. A famous Dorothy Height quote is 'I have been in the proximity of, and threatened by, the Klan; I have been called everything people of color are called; I have been denied admission because of a quota. I've had all of that, but I've also learned that getting bitter is not the way.' What I take from this quote is that no matter what come your way, letting it get to you shows that your giving up to easily.

Did you know that on August 22 was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day? That means Black women had to work all of 2018 and until that day in 2019 to catch up with what white men earned in 2018 alone. That’s crazy to think the Black women must do that just to have equal pay with men. I feel that women and men should both get paid the same equal amount. As a black woman I feel that women deserve to be treated fairly and equally instead of being looked down by society. Did you also know that on the average Black women in the U.S. are paid 39% less than white men and 21% less than white women.3 It’s really sad that even though times has changed, people in America still treated black females the same. Also found out from the age 16, Black girls are paid less than boys the same age—and the gap only grows from there. Meaning over the years the gap between black women and white males has increased more. Another point I like to add is, lower income for black women means less money for their own families. Considering that 80 percent are the main breadwinners for their households. When you think about it, it affects the ability to buy groceries for the households, pay for their children childcare and invest in their children futures. Overall, I feel that Black women are feeling all the pain for this messed up justice system in America. I feel that as a Black woman we deserve so much more than what we have not. We deserve to have the same equal rights as male. Also deserve to have the same opportunities as male as well. One last fact I would like to add is Louisiana equal pay protections only cover public employees, only 17 percent of the population. When I found out about it, I was ashamed to be a part of a state that only help seventeen of the population but also the fact that women in general don’t get paid as much as the males do.

In conclusion as a black female I realized must work harder to achieve my goals and dreams in society. Without doing so, I am letting myself down but also letting my ancestors down. Looking back on the history that my ancestors and many civil rights leaders went through and realize that it pushes me to stride to be better and to be more determined to have a successful life.                                                                               

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