I, being young, a woman, and find myself dealing with such an issue.
When I was much younger, I sometimes hated being more determined than my classmates who were also African American.
My cousins often teased me for doing my homework when all I wanted to do was succeed—something that I thought deserved praise and support.
At times, I pretended not to be so “smart” and slack off.
My mother had taught me better; she taught me that I was worth more than poor grades and minimum effort, so I felt horrible when I slacked off.
Thus, with the elements listed above, it is nontraditional and seems to be a very modernist work.
I found myself highlighting many passages when reading it.
I agreed with everything that she said about African American women oppression.
I was able to place myself in the story and give my personal thoughts in the margins.
The piece seems to focus on the progress that young African American women desire, especially when living in an African American community.
When I went home, I knew I could do something big no matter what.
I even pushed to help my race by being an example to my classmates as well as my brothers and sisters. Bonner’s piece, I believe centers around a theme of double consciousness.
This is clear, for example, in her thoughts about remaining silent about new ways of thinking about (black issues) even when there is something that needs to be said, though controversial.
The way in which Bonner structures her discourse on a black woman’s double consciousness is very interesting (and modernist) as it sarcastic in its critique of culture.
She says, Bonner is critiquing society’s demands and expectations of a woman’s behavior and mindset.
My mother moved us away from the “ghetto” when I was around the age of twelve.
When I went back to visit my cousins, I felt as if I was over privileged.
This, along with the teasing, caused me to want to slack and not be as good at school subjects.
When I was in this particular consciousness, I felt as if I wouldn’t do anything great when I got older.
My cousins’ comments about “the white man was bringing them down” and their beliefs that they couldn’t do anything often made me feel the same way.
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I often find myself reader poems more often over essays, but since Audre Lorde’s essays have come into my life, I’ve found myself more intrigued by the form and the messages/themes—how deeply they speak to you just as in poetry. The use of the pronoun “you” does this as well as I felt as if she was speaking to me personally.
Most often, when I read criticism on the oppression of African American woman living in America, it is very essay like rather than poetic like Marita O. is very personal and provides a story line so that African American women can place themselves in the situation and know that they can relate to the oppression that she speaks of.
She is well known for her essays and her career as a playwright.
A fiction writer and playwright, Marita Bonner was a well-regarded writer whose work was featured at Georgia Douglas Johnson’s Washington, D. Born in Boston, Bonner graduated from Radcliffe, where she studied literature and music.
Jessie Fauset published Bonner’s first essay, “On Being Young—a Woman—and Colored,” in The Crisis in 1925.
The essay was awarded The Crisis Prize for best essay that year; it is still considered a fundamental text of the Harlem Renaissance.
Also a playwright, her dramatic work is often praised as her most innovative writing.
Her 1928 play The Purple Flower is thought by some critics to be the first surrealist play written by an African-American woman.
Still, I still desired to be a part of the community that my cousins lived in.