My collage contains a few of the feminists throughout history that I love and respect. Unfortunately, however, I could never fit all of them into just one collage. Along with the pictures of women I chose, are common phrases or stereotypes associated with women throughout history. These are a testament to how much we have overcome and how far we still have to go regarding women’s having rights and equality. Each feminist I’ve specified is highlighted by a gold border to draw attention to their status as having made great contributions to the women’s movement. I used gold accents throughout the collage to extenuate their notability and to embrace femininity.
Courtney Love is my biggest role model currently because of how much she has impacted the women of the rock and roll world, a world mainly dominated by men. Courtney Love is one of the strongest women I know, while coping with her husband’s tragic suicide, losing the custody of her only child, and facing the public’s constant criticism she has come out stronger than ever and refuses to let the world dim her spirit. Courtney Love is not admired by much, and has even been accused of murdering her own husband. I believe she is extremely underrated, being overshadowed by her drug use or questionable decisions. I believe Courtney was really ahead of her time, and earned the title “The Queen of Rock and Roll.” Her famous quote of, “Don’t date the captain of the football team, be the captain of the football team” has always inspired with me. Courtney is always portrayed as out of control or high off drugs, but in reality, she is living her best life and that has always inspired me to be more like her, to do whatever makes you happy even if others tear you down.
Yoko Ono, like Courtney Love, is not very liked by the public especially Beatles fans. Yoko Ono is another admirably strong women who witnessed her husband get shot down right in front of her. She has chosen to carry on and keep John Lennon’s legacy alive while being a strong influence in feminist art. John Lennon’s legacy has also overshadowed her identity, and is often only recognized as Lennon’s widow. I believe that Ono has become an easy target over the years for Beatles fans to blame the break-up of the band on because she is a woman. She has received so much hate and has handled it with such fortitude that I have always found her admirable.
I have never heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie before this class but I absolutely fell in love with her and what she stands for after reading and watching more of her stories. Her approach to feminism is original and mild, and I believe that men and women should all watch her TedTalks because of how refreshing her approach to feminism is and how interesting her stories on feminism are being that she is from Africa. I wanted to include her in this collage because of how much of an impact she had on me and to inform others of her important work.
Frida Kahlo was one of the first artists I have ever been in awe by, whether it was her work or her life story as a growing feminist. Kahlo’s paintings have always intrigued me because of how raw and honest they are while sharing both emotional and physical pain from her life. Kahlo also defied gender stereotypes, embracing qualities that were considered masculine and refusing to conform to many women stereotypes. Kahlo is an inspiration to female artists everywhere and will always be a huge inspiration of mine.
Oprah Winfrey is the epitome of women empowerment, and after all, who doesn’t love Oprah? She has been around for years, being a constant idol for women and girls around the world. Being one of the most powerful women in the world, I can’t not think of her when it comes to feminism. Another standout modern actress is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, she will always be one of my favorite women because Seinfeld is my all-time favorite show and I watch it daily. Her role in Seinfeld as Elaine Benes is iconic, and a great example of a strong and defiant woman living in a world surrounded by men.
Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday are women I wanted to include not only because of their impact on feminism, but their influence in the music scene as African American women. I absolutely love Fitzgerald and Holiday because of their incredible talents and triumphs as colored, female entertainers in the 40s and 50s. Michelle Obama is a modern example of this, and has been a strong role model for feminists and African Americans all over. The speeches she has given and the support she has offered for women is unforgettable. Her heart-to-heart moments with children and others during her “Be Best” campaigns made an incredible impact.
Lastly, I found Margaret Sanger an obvious choice to include in my collage along with Gloria Steinem. Both are major contributors to the growing feminism in the 60s while refusing to let anyone get in the way of their goals for women.
I really enjoyed and appreciated being given the opportunity to choose what to do for a final project so freely. All of my art classes have requirements and expectations, so it was nice to be able to pick my choice of media and make it my own. Making collages is my favorite art form and I have never been able to do this in any other course. I also never get the chance or the time to make collages for myself outside of my classes anymore, so I appreciate this opportunity to express myself fully without limitations.
The Danger Of A Single Story
Black people come in all different shades, and because we look different we get discriminated against differently. Colorism is the racist belief that light skinned is good and dark skinned is bad. This goes all the way back to slavery days when the white man used to separate us by color placing the light skinned slaves in the house and the dark skinned slaves outside in the fields, and this created a never ending war; light skinned vs dark skinned. By separating us it was perceived that light skinned people were and always will be better than dark skinned people. In 2009, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist gave a memorable TED talk titled “The danger of a single story”. Through her inspiring tone she illustrates just how damaging and polluting a single story can be. When Adichie came to American for college, her roommate thought she could not use a stove because of what she read and saw on the internet. Same goes for Adichie, she herself had a single story of Mexico because of what people said on the internet. This just goes to show how people listen to what they hear rather than what they see. Adichie enlightens us on what a single story actually is, “The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. That makes one story become the only story.” She essentially says that a single story is one that has some true aspects, but just a one-sided undeveloped story. Not only did she express single stories that people have had about her as a Nigerian, but she tells us that she has been guilty of the same. In season five episode 10, the cast of Black-ish challenged the ideology of colorism, that light skinned is good and dark skinned is bad; as people we should all challenge colorism because it can have a negative impact on how people treat us and how we see ourselves.
Black-ish is a sitcom TV show created by Kenya Barris that highlights a middle class African American family. Most of the family is of lighter skin except for the youngest daughter Diane; she is dark skinned. In this episode made in 2018 Andre and Rainbow the parents of Diane received her class picture and were very unhappy to see that the lighting was so terrible that you could barely see Diane. Furious, Andre and Rainbow called the principal and demanded the picture be taken over. While they talked to the principal on the phone Diane comes out and tells them she does not want to talk the picture over. Diane says she does not care because it happens to her all the time, “Its everywhere I go. People tell me girls with dark skinned like me shouldn’t wear red lipstick, and that I’m pretty for a dark skinned girl.” Everywhere Diane goes in some way she is judged by her skin color. While expressing herself both of her parents had a look of pity on their faces. Diane becomes angry, she says to them, “see now you feel bad for me”. Rainbow and Andre began to argue back and forth about how light skinned people have “Light skinned privilege.” Rainbow is mixed, her mother is black, and her father is white; so, she’s very light. Rainbow does not feel like she has light skinned privilege. Andre tells Rainbow that she’ll never know what hateful discrimination people with darker skin go through. Andre’s mother Ruby, who also lives there, called Diane and they had a family discussion about when she was a child. Ruby shared the story of where she grew up in Louisiana and how all her cousins were light skinned, and she was the only dark skinned one. They made her stay in the house while they played outside. They made Ruby feel so useless, ugly and unwanted; they even made songs about her. “Light skinned is the right skin, but if you’re dark skinned stay in.” Ruby expressed to Diane that she had to learn not to let what people said about her affect how she sees herself, “Dark skin is beautiful”, she says. After their conversation they drove Diane to school and met with the principal. This episode of Black-ish is very powerful.
Colorism is something that we as black people put ourselves through. Instead of us standing together as one race we put ourselves in two different categories, making the blacks of darker skin feel inferior and less wanted than the ones with lighter skin. This is something that was learned from slave owners; we have picked up the behavior of white supremacist. Being dark skinned has always been a struggle. If a dark skinned man gets on an elevator with a white woman, she is more likely to clutch her purse than if it was a good-looking light skinned man. In this episode of Black-ish Andre says that his oldest son Andre Jr may never experience being stopped by the police because of his light skinned. Some white people and even light skinned people take dark skinned people as a threat. They also address that Hollywood magazines only choose one dark skinned women per year to highlight. They were not saying that they do not broadcast black people because they do, and that’s great, but mostly light skinned women.
Dark skinned women have always been told that they cannot wear certain colors or do certain things. When featured in a magazine light skinned women are usually put into light bright clothes while dark skinned women are always placed in red. Yes, we look good in red, but it is always the same. Why not pink or yellow? Another misconception is that dark skinned women are ugly. Instead of looking at someone’s face or inner beauty they look at the dark skin and we are automatically labeled ugly. What else would be the point of someone saying to Diane, “You’re such a pretty dark skinned girl”? Other than people thinking that all dark skinned women are ugly, Diane also brings up that fact that her father even married a light skinned women with long pretty hair. She says to her father, “See even you married a light skinned women with curly long hair.” Based on society’s standards people believe you must have long curly hair to be labeled beautiful.
If people would learn to be their own person and let go of society’s standards they would be able to get the full complex picture. The full complex picture of who we really are; just like everyone else. It’s important for people to get the full story on who we really are because being treated differently when you’re not different is very depressing. It’s the same as when Adichie had the single story of her house boy Fide; she was shocked to see that Fide’s family was more than just poor. “We went to the village to visit and his mother showed me a beautiful patterned basket… I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anyone in his family could actually make something.” This was her single story because she heard nothing about Fide except that he was poor so she thought nothing more. Just like people do today with dark skin people. People only say we cannot wear or do certain things because that’s what they have heard. It crazy because no one thinks for themselves. People will be in utter shock when they see a dark skinned women in neon green or yellow saying, “Wow, I can’t believe she pulled that off.”
This single story can negatively impact someone’s Identity formation. Someone like me, who will try to change everything about themselves to fit into society’s standards, but who could never change the color of her skin. Someone who grew up not thinking she was beautiful enough to be loved; only by her mother. This could not only become a single story of how people view us, but a single story about how we view ourselves. People will grow up and despise their skin color and bleach it later in life. I know plenty of dark skinned women who feel inferior to light skinned women and they shouldn’t, but it’s not their fault. It is society’s fault. Of course this started with racism, but I blame the entire black community for carrying on this hatred for so many years. Putting down our own brothers and sisters because of the color of our skin. Didn’t white people do that already? We are all black it does not matter how light or how dark.
In conclusion, we are all guilty be single stories, no one is perfect. However, who does matter is that you do not let the single story be the only story. Black-ish did a wonderful job in challenging the ideology of colorism, everyone should do the same because it can cause us to treat each other differently and have a negative internal impact on dark skinned people. This is very important to me because I am a dark skinned women and I will have dark skinned children. I would never want my children to experience the treatment I did as a child. To change this single story we need to open our eyes and see how beautiful we are as a race. White people already separate us. We need to stand together. We are all black.
The Front Of Our City Hall
The outcome of The Battle of Lexington and Concord persuaded my interest to the Patriot cause because it echoes Locke’s statement that three natural rights, which are “Life, Liberty, and Property”, protect us. These significant words Locke proclaimed has held valuable meaning over the past eighty-six years. It is our duty to fight for what is our natural right, no matter what parliament decides.
Supporting the militia brings up many questions that have lofty consequences, including frequently leaving my kids, leaving my home to face battles, and coming across harsh weather conditions. I believe that this is a cause that is worth representing because this will impact the rest of Boston and the colonies’ deliverance for the generations to come. The only way I can withstand Parliament and support my cause is “by raising funds, gathering information, sending bedding and goods to the soldiers at the front and sew clothing, such as coats, blankets, and vests for the winter” (Hewitt and Lawson, 182).Due to the regulars invading our land, my husband joined the militia because of their threat against my natural rights, the right to Property. The regulars expect a place to stay because of the Parliaments Quartering Act, which requires providing them with a room to sleep in and food to feed them, at their preference. They have invaded not only our land but our neighbors too, whom we trade fish with in exchange for squash and beans. Next, this is a threat to my family. I have two kids, and I simply don’t have time to care for their needs before my families own. We have been working countless hours to plant and harvest, so we may have enough food for the harsh conditions winter brings.
They have taken the food that may be our only hope for surviving when the winter arrives. Secondly, I am going to represent the Patriots for the right to Liberty. Bostonians are suffering by paying taxes for everyday items: they know we cannot function as a city without these items. Parliament is using this as a reason to essentially eliminate our freedom, and we will simply not allow it. The colonies are still paying the taxes from the Coercive Acts from almost two years ago. Parliament doesn’t understand that we want representation. They have controlled our city and isolated our feelings. The Intolerable Acts sparked the need for political independence from the British crown. “I vow to protect myself against British encroachments on my rights and institutions” (Hewitt and Lawson, 161). The women in North Carolina who published The Edenton Proclamation to provide the women in Boston with a hope that other colonies believe in this cause too. They show their support by spreading awareness in newspapers that they will not sell, buy, or drink the tea that comes from the British. Lastly, our right to Life, Parliament has made us care for the very ones who’ve harmed our people in the front of our City Hall, known as the Boston Massacre. Parliament is blinded by the controversy they are causing toward the innocent lives here in Boston. Do they not recognize the people of Boston who risked their lives in the French and Indian War, for England’s sake and they have placed their responsibility on us. I know that colonial unity is the only way we can overcome the regulars, so will you fight for the cause of the Patriots or for the ones who will not support your freedom?