Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Black adoption of Christian dogma brought African Americans into conformity...


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via freedom fighter. on 2/15/11

"Black adoption of Christian dogma brought African Americans into conformity with European American sexist/heterosexist models of gender hierarchy. As historian Paula Giddings notes, the Black Church played a key role in enforcing black patriarchy because it "attempted to do this in much the same way that Whites had used religion, by putting a new emphasis on the biblical 'sanction for male ascendancy.' This "new emphasis" meant that black men could be rightful patriarchs despite the yoke of slavery and Jim Crow apartheid. Contrary to the popular belief that black men were "emasculated" under slavery because they did not have unfettered access to and "control" over the bodies and destinies of black women and children, women were still socialized to fulfill gender hierarchical responsibilities like cooking, cleaning and taking care of children.* Black women were still regarded as the primary caregivers of the family, the protectors of home, hearth and the wellbeing of their male partners and their children. Black women were the repositories of moral and social values, entrusted with transmitting them to children.
So because women are responsible for transmitting moral values to children and families, breaking from deeply ingrained Christian ideology, culture and community ties is problematic. In African American communities where devoutness is the "default position," the presumption of female religiosity, reinforced by cultural representation, is a binding influence that makes public skepticism for women taboo."

- Sikivu Hutchinson "Beyond The Sacrificial Good Woman: Freethinking and Black Feminism" (via themetropoliskid)


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