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The African American New Woman

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“In an era of lynchings and segregation, many black women struggled to define their gender identity and sexuality in an empowering way. The Harlem Renaissance played a huge part in African cultural life. Sexuality was more a terrain of liberation for African American women than white women. During the 1920s, glamour permeated the black community. Many black artists stressed the beauty of black women and beauty parlors and cosmetic sales soared (Clash of Cultures, African American New Woman.)”

However, some black women had the assumption that white    would always be better so they insisted on purchasing skin  lightening creams as well as hair straightening products. It was  difficult for black women to be accepted during this time,  especially following traits of the “new woman.”

Jazz singer, Bessie Smith was an influence towards African American women. She was a flapper of the 1920s and flaunted sexuality and pleasure, glamourous attire, and flouted convention.


Written by A New Generation of Women

May 2, 2011 at 12:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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