Black Women Writers @ Southwestern University

An English / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies Course Blog

New Understandings


I would like to put myself on the spot for a bit and confess that I do not know so much about what Bell Hooks was writing about. I honestly think it is because of the lack of knowledge and education during school. For example, I did not know or understand for that matter why Black men would want to take on the role of the White man as female oppressors (in the patriarchal role of “man of the [now free] house.”

On another note, focusing on The Color Purple and many other readings we have discussed, I never thought about women and men possibly being gay. I also usually do not focus on the sexual orientation of authors, or their race for that matter. I really do not know why, but I am glad to say that I know from the class and becoming more aware of the authors of many different pieces, that I will focus more on the author and their story and background. I am usually against this and more heavily agree with Rolland Barthes “The Death of The Author”, but I need to understand and become more aware that not all writing should have a death to the author.. That not all writing occurs in a vacuum, but has the context provided by the cultural background of the author.

On another note, I love The Color Purple! I like it a lot honestly because it is very easy for me to understand. I do not know if that is because I like the slang better, or because she misspells words often, but I just love it.


2 thoughts on “New Understandings

  1. Would you mind elaborating on what you mean about the death of the author in consideration of the text? I’m not familiar with that book.

  2. In your first paragraph you mention some confusion on what bell hooks discusses. You question why black men would want to take on the role of the white man as female oppressors. I think very simply put, white racist rule put black men in economic turmoil as they were barred from many jobs but black women could find more ways of providing. I think that black men saw that they could gain a little bit of status or privilege by stepping on women.
    However, I also think it is important to note bell hooks point that “our emphasis on the male as oppressor often obscures the fact that men too are victimized. To be an oppressor is dehumanizing and anti- human in nature, as it is to be a victim”.

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