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American Politics and Black American Women


The traditional exposition of American voting rights and American women’s history presented in educational institutions for many generations emphasizes the ratifications of the 19th Amendment in the 1920s as the pinnacle of suffragists’ achievement. Nevertheless, few scholars have objectively focused on the critical role actively played by Black American Women in breaking the barriers beyond the levels few could think or imagine. The nomination of Kamala Harris as the Vice-president is the culmination of this fight and just a perfect illustration of how these generations of black women have advanced the vision of American politics to all, irrespective of race and gender. The article affirms that politics is more than formal participation through elections. More black women are recently participating in the political scenes, but the author affirms that politics is not just about representation and making laws[1]. African American women yearn for recognition when they struggle to venture into politics.

Through politics, these women can influence other people’s behaviour, resulting in the betterment of the communities. They use their political power to address the needs of the marginalized. The author envisages the struggle of an American Woman through the American allegorical novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” exposing the wide dimension of the political truths affiliated with the operation and liberation of the American Woman[2]. The novel presents resounding evidence that black women’s internal, psychological-emotional and personal experiences are inherently political.


Hurston tells the story of Janie Crawford, a black woman who grows up in the early 1900s and finds her way in the world, despite the expectations of those around her. The book addresses race, gender, and class issues and has been praised for its rich characterization and lyrical writing. The story begins with Janie’s childhood, during which her white sister and mother vastly overshadow her. Janie is forced to work as a maid to help support her family, but she dreams of something more. One day, she meets a man named George who tells her about the “Land Where You Never Die,” an imaginary place where people can be themselves without fear of persecution. Janie begins to believe in this dream and decides to find it. She travels across the United States, encountering many different kinds of people and learning about the world around her. She eventually arrives in Harlem, where she faces discrimination and prejudice. However, Janie refuses to give up on her dream and continues to fight for what is right even when it seems impossible. The novel is an excellent example of the power of storytelling to inspire change in the world. The author creates a vivid picture of the world that Janie encounters on her journey, and her character development is outstanding. Readers will feel sympathy for Janie as she struggles to overcome discrimination and prejudice and root for her as she reaches her dream destination. Typically, the story explores the relationships between African Americans and whites in the early 20th century. It also examines the role of women in society and their search for independence.

Hurston employs flood symbolism to convey the spiritual and emotional transformations of her protagonist, Janie Crawford[3]. Hurston’s use of this symbol underscores the idea that change is often difficult but ultimately necessary for growth. The flood begins with Janie’s decision to leave her first husband, Logan Killicks. This act of self-determination leads to chaos in Janie’s life, as she must cope with the physical and emotional aftermath of the divorce. The flood also represents Janie’s spiritual journey, marked by a gradual realization that she is not alone in her struggles. All people are subject to the same natural laws and capable of experiencing divine love.

Through the vulnerable storm, most people are swept away by the floods. Tea Cake saves Jamie. They anticipate a horrendous experience on Palm beach[4]. They have to clear the dead bodies. The author employs a symbolic theme here; she quotes that the white corpses were placed in coffins, while the black corpses were led to a mass grave and covered with quick lime. The white population equally settled in the high-altitude regions, while blacks were forced to settle in the dangerous low-lying regions. The Hurston flood evokes the New Orleans devastation after Hurricane Katrina. Despite the continuous political noise focusing on this devastating event, very little has been done, and the black community continues to live in shame and struggle.


Gender is an integral dimension in the pursuit of national purity. In the United States, loyalty and devotion to the country have been recognized as the defining factors of nationalism for a long time. It suffices to evaluate how the country develops through feminine hope, feminine humiliation, and feminized memory. Feminism has played its role in founding the country and setting it to the epitome of success. The current developments indicate that women will continue to fight for social and political agendas in the country fearlessly. The evolution of American nationalism can be perceived through the lens of modernization theories.

The article is wholly persuasive and profound in the presentation of facts. Still, racism and inequality remain an inescapable factor in American public opinion, even after the extraneous efforts by African American women and other decision-makers. Former U.S. President Barack Obama argued that Hurricane Katrina exposed deeper the tragedy of inequality. New Orleans stands between two floodwaters, the Mississippi to the south and the lake connected to the north, making it vulnerable to flooding. After the storm, it emerged that just as it was in other regions of America, the police are not always on the side of citizens. They did not protect the people they were supposed to protect. The black community, who constitute the majority of the population, realized that they were on their own.

Twelve years after the storm, New Orleans still mourns the death of more than 140 people who could not be saved in a slow-motion process that took days to be executed. With a new hospital being erected at more than $1 billion, there must have been a new approach to health care provision in the region. Hurricane Katrina brought up the issue of inequality. The challenges experienced by New Orleans showed the limitations African-Americans went through and the difference compared to other races. 44% of black children in New Orleans were living in abject poverty. Their access to basic facilities such as health and education was therefore jeopardized. By 2015, little had been done, with the value rising to 51%. Politics of race trumped civil order during the management and evacuation of affected individuals. Hurricane Katrina, therefore, came in time to expose such inequality and push for policy recommendations to address the issue.

Typically, while Hurston novel does not explicitly address politics, it can be read as a commentary on the political and social climate of the time. Janie’s struggles to find her place in a society that demonizes and discriminates against black people are very similar to the experiences of black Americans today. The novel also raises important questions about race, power, and identity in America. She quotes, “As a young woman, she learns that her assigned role is to serve as a mule, carrying the weight of racial prejudice and gendered inequality.” The rest of the people were used to these normalized societal injustices. Therefore, the novel has considerable relevance for understanding politics in the United States today. The literary art mirrors and explores social issues, crucial illuminating connections between culture and politics.

Despite all these efforts by the Black women, black people continue to experience discrimination in recruitment, are stereotyped in the criminal justice system, intimidations and harassment by the law enforcement officers, and are not treated with humanity by their white counterparts[5]. The fight against this inequality and racism has taken a downward trajectory, and most scholars and American citizens treat it as just a common issue. However, women have gained immense momentum for their advocacy of a more inclusive state through ‘republican motherhood,’ resulting in the various waves of feminist movements in the U.S. However, a look at the development of nationalism in the United States demonstrates that the national state is still a masculine institution. Women are strongly pursuing their objectives of seeking gender equality, and black populations are advocating for the realization of racial equality. In a country with a history of racial tensions between the dominant white population and the black minorities, the evolution of Nationalism in the U.S. has mirrored these tensions. Thus, as white men continue to dominate almost all aspects of the American social and political spheres, feminine is undoubtedly the driving force of nationalism.


Cole, Johnnetta B., and Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Gender talk: The struggle for women’s equality in African American communities. One World, 2003.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God. Prabhat Prakashan, 2020.

[1] Cole, Johnnetta B., and Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Gender talk: The struggle for women’s equality in African American communities. One World, 2003.

[2] Hurston, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God. Prabhat Prakashan, 2020.

[3] Hurston, 2020.

[4] Hurston, 2020.

[5] Cole, 2003.


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