The Impact of Sexism on Black Women

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American history is replete with slave-rooted images of African American womanhood. Often viewed as the sex object or the Jezebel, African American women have struggled to deflate images that promote sexual exploitation through the participation in feminist movements and the creation of the womanist movement. However, in contemporary American society, black women in popular culture have embraced what was once considered a curse. Their acceptance of this image, a direct example of social reproduction and internalized oppression, has resurrected a skewed vision of black womanhood. Hence, despite feminist and black womanist movements, sexism is still present in contemporary American society, especially among African American women in the form of sexual exploitation.
Within the Modern Feminist Movement, white women have been accused of focusing on oppression in terms of gender while ignoring issues of race, class and sexuality. As a result, the definition of womanism was created by the author and theorist Alice Walker. Walker defines a womanist as "…a black feminist or a feminist of color, an outrageous and audacious woman who is interested in learning and questioning all things. A womanist is a responsible woman who loves other women both sexually and non-sexually, a woman who appreciates and prefers women's culture, strength and emotional flexibility" (Walker 27). The theory of womanism is committed to the survival of and wholeness of all people, both men and women. Rather than supporting separatism, womanism promotes universalism. The term womanism also celebrates black women, recognizes a history, and validates it as being both valuable and complex. The term womanism describes an element present in the movement in the fight against the oppression of black women and women of color.
The oppression of black women was based on several factors including race, class and gender. These oppressors were interwoven into social structures and worked together

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