African Women Voices
“African-American women, during and after enslavement, were often at pains to prove that they were not sexually “immoral” because our women were commonly labelled as such by their enslaves, who used this as a justification for raping or prostituting African-American girls and women.”
This comes from an interesting blog post on Ancestral Energies that describes in details a new book called Soul Survivors
and that collects stories of enslavement told by African women. How much were those women African is a silly question as they were the direct descendent of the first wave of Africans enslaved in the US. Call them African Americans or Africans, it doesn’t matter since the question that came to my mind was: how much of that stereotype remain today? How much of this stereotype is used to sexually harass African women?
I’ll start from my own experience in European countries: in some areas if I’m calmly walking down the street to reach a metro or meet a friend, men feel automatically empowered and justified to harass me verbally. And I call harassment even cat-calling as I don’t appreciate such behaviour. Now, one could argue that in Europe this kind of behaviour comes from the unfortunate circumstances: a certain number of African women are victims of trafficking and arrive in Europe without knowing they will become prostitutes. This means that men are used to see black women working on the streets and since they never relate to other black women in another way, a terrible thought grows into their minds: Africans and Black women in general, are prostitutes, ergo they feel entitled to tell them (to tell us) whatever comes to mind.
Now, the American history is long distant from the European one, which translates in a different origin of all the stereotypes turning around Africans and Black women and we all know those too well. But the best thing to do is always to share, so what’s your story?