Stay At Home, Don’t Work & Don’t Speak Your Mind
Although this seems more feminine in the male eyes in the 1950s, Black women were not always on the forefront of feminist movements. They received the same treatment as all women in the 1950s who were told to stay home and keep quite, yet the difference was how much they were up against including being colored in a country that was not as civil. The confidence of the black woman like any woman during that time was defeated. Jobs were taken from all women, even when soldiers came back from war. Yet the black woman merely never got a chance to be hired, she was a home maker, she was pushed to the far back, and she never was supposed to speak her mind to anyone. The up that the black male had, was that his wife made him feel more superior in a uncivil world.
As a black woman in the 1950s your image meant everything. You were to be extremely thin, with permed hair to prove that you were beautiful enough to live in a white washed word. Your make up could not be to harsh and being very feminine is what you had to fight for to get acceptance in some form or fashion just to work at the diner down the street. Being too thick rated you as masculine, and being too beautiful put you in a position to be married or sexually assaulted. It was open season on black women and fighting for you dignity daily took a tole on your confidence and mental health, to live in a country who advertised freedom yet freedom was not the life you were living. Black women with light skin completions or biracial backgrounds even wanted to be publicly known as white women, until later it was seen that if you were birthed from a black mother or had a black father, you were black. Hilariously for a few decades, they could not tell the difference, white was seen as the dominant race when was later marked untrue.
I’m A Man, And I Am The Head Of The House Hold
This was true for the black man especially in the baby booming era of the 1950s. If it wasn’t in the streets the black man had his say so in his home. He fought for this with all of his might at all times. “Listen to your father, answer to him only,” was the ideal saying in any African American home. Although they were disrespected by others the black Woman was sure to keep her mouth closed when her husband made a rule. No matter how harsh that rule was. The black man was idolized as the man of the house, because for decades before hand it was taken from him. The 1950s was a time black men laid their hats at their homes and became the only bread winners, and no matter what they did not leave their families. Therefore the mental health and confidence of the black man was how well can he remain the head of household and keep him home as well as his wife in check. This was where his pride and dignity was, yet when the civil rights of black people started to be nationalized and more opportunity opened for African Americans, the rise of female political power and activism “women of the struggle,”started to increase. Which landed black males back in the “power struggles,” of being the head of house hold again.
Women of the Movement
So what caused black women to gain confidence in themselves, although white women already had their main activist who changed history like Susan B. Anthony. Who was their to successfully fight for us? The confidence of the black Woman started to rise in the 1950s when women like Rosa Parks stood for change as an African American woman in the fight with our men. Environmental confidence could be a word that sent shock waves to women to not just sit home and make children, yet go out and fight for their freedom to not just be seen as a colored individual. The “unladylike” actions of Rosa Parks landed her as one of the top Civil Rights Activist of American History, and this was just because she was a tired black woman, who worked all day and refused to give up her seat to a white man. Her actions proved to black women that a man is not the only person who makes the rules or who can stand up for himself, and she did it unintentionally. All of this happened, because she was simply a tired woman, who did not want to give up her seat. Now are we aware why black women left the stove and started standing up for themselves? It’s due to the women of the movement and in the 1950s the movement of black women started to rise. We gained confidence, and we gained it quickly. Yet the reverse affects that we got from black men, was masculinity.
A Black Woman Gaining Confidence Is No Different From A White Man Hating The Feminist Movement. The Effects Were The Same.Kahdejah E. Stevens