The story begins with a historical perspective on how female African American slaves were treated in America’s past. The basic gist is that these women were slaves first, and then women/ mothers/ wives second. All slaves worked, regardless of their gender.
What could bring them back to their gender in a slave owner’s eyes would be the owner’s sexual onslaught onto the woman. This rape was yet another despicable form of control. Pregnant slaves, as well as those who had recently given birth, were to constantly work in the fields at the same level as any man.
While a slave woman was valued as a reproductive machine, that capability still did not give her preferential treatment. The black female slave was at the very bottom of society. Even her gender was another way to lower her already abysmal place in life.
Even today, being black or being a woman makes a person less likely to succeed. The preferential odds are against individuals who are not white or male.
There is now a classic psychological experiment: who is most employable? When a job is posted and many people apply, white men are the most likely to be hired, then Asian men, then Hispanic men, and then black men. A white woman is on the same ranking employability level as a Hispanic or black man. Lastly comes the black woman, below all the rest. Having a vagina has always been a handicap.
This is no surprise, considering that black men gained the right to vote with the 15th Amendment- while women of every race waited until the 19th Amendment.
Truly, historically women in America were generally considered lesser beings from every angle. We are still today assessing the female’s place in our society. Hopefully, there will eventually be some consensus on a woman being equal in rights to a man. Or those who aren’t of Caucasian, European descent being employable. Or gay people being equal to straight people. Or not having to use any label to determine your life’s course.
If the American dream is to use hard work and determination in order to climb and succeed, then the dream would be much more plausible without weighted labels. As Gaga says, we were born this way, so make like musical Glee and reach for the stars.
Or something less cheesy sounding.