Friday, November 29, 2013

Overcoming the Sexual and Religious Legacies of Slavery

Because of the U.S. history of slavery, assumptions about the sexuality of African American women in the United States differ from those made about European American women. Racial stereotypes rooted in the beliefs of the slavery era pervade U.S. culture. These include the asexual Black Mammy who cares for white children but not for her own; the hypersexual, irresponsible Jezebel who tempts white men to sin; the Welfare Queen who cheats the taxpayers; and the domineering Black Matriarch who is to blame for her children’s failures. The sexual stereotype of enslaved women as licentious extends far back into history; modern racism extended it to all Black women and also used the myth of Black hypersexuality as a reason to enslave Black people.