Racism and Gender Equality
Racism and gender equality has been in practice since the civilization of the human kind. However, the increase in the cases of racism and gender equality has been increasing as people become more aware of what racism and gender equality is. Additionally, racism and gender inequality incubates inhuman conditions that undermine humanity. As a result, a generation of few fearless persons came up who were not only victims of racism or gender equality but also vehemently fought for the rights of victims of gender inequality or racism. Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr were on the front line to dispel the acts of racism and gender inequality. The preceding chapters will highlight the racial and gender assumptions that Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr were dispelling, evaluation of how successful they were and highlight what can be done to eradicate stereotypes.
Zora Neale Hurston
To dispel the gender assumptions that promote gender inequality, Zora Neale Hurston used novels and short stories. Zero Neale Hurston was born in Alabama, 7th January 1891 to parents who were black American slaves. Zora Neale won a scholarship to Barnard College, where she used the chance to collect African-American tales, where she would later publish a collection of these tales. In her studies, Zora Neale got an exposure of gender inequality that the women were experiencing only because of the assumptions the society had.
Basing on her short stories and novels that Zora Neale wrote the major cause of assumptions that caused gender inequality was the male dominance in the society and patriarchy. The male dominance being an assumption that a group of males has power over females and patriarchy being a social system where the male hold power, were the catalyst of gender inequality.
But before that week was over he had whipped Janie. Not because her behavior justified his jealousy, but it relieved that awful fear inside him. Being able to whip her reassured him in possession. No brutal beating at all. He just slapped her around a bit to show he was the boss, (Hurston 140).
In Zora Neala short story “ Sweat”, Zora Neala uses the character Delia who is the protagonist constantly underwent mistreatment from her husband, the community did nothing to assist her only because she was a woman and the society was male dominated.
Additionally, by publishing stories her stories, Zora Neale revealed disturbing situations for women about mistreatment in the 1930s. In the novel, Their Eyes were Watching God; Zora Neale uses, and excerpt called “Hurricane” tells the occurrence in the book of using a woman voice. The book highlights the character Joe who attempts to put Jane in her right place as a submissive and silent wife. Zora Neale dispels the assumption that the right place for a woman is submissive and silent. Likewise, still in the same book, Zora Neale juxtaposes a couple – Janie and Teacake, as typical positive characters that despite their gender leave happily without undermining one another.
Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr was born on 19th of January 1929 and became a Baptist Church Minister. As a result, he took the opportunity to advocate for the civil rights of the black people who were undergoing discrimination by using non-violent or civil disobedience. Martin Luther King dispelled the assumptions that were made referring the black people as inferior, less intelligent, who do not deserve equal treatment in comparison to other races as the key factors in promoting racism.
Martin Luther King Jr uses his dreams to advocate for the equity of all people irrespective of the race. Through sharing of his dreams, many people got aware of what racism is and the effects of racism. On 28th August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr gave a speech in Lincoln Memorial Washington. His speech majored on the dream of a country he has that did not have racism. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, (American Rhetoric ).
Through his speeches, Martin Luther King Jr dispelled that educating a man is the key thing to fight racism. Indeed, the man needs to be enabled to fight for his freedom. Furthermore, Martin Luther King advocates that United States to live up to the promises made in the Declaration of Independence.
Martin Luther King Jr dispelled the assumption that segregation of schools for the black race children promotes education which empowers the black people. Ironically, he advocates for the same school system, same transport system for all people.
James Baldwin uses novels, essays, poem and plays to dispel the assumption that promotes racism. James Baldwin was born in 2nd of August 1924. He wrote essays which were collected his essays in a book called “Notes of a Native Son.” Also, he wrote essays such as “The Fire Next Time” and the “No Name in The Street.” Thus, Baldwin deploys situations that involve love to disclose the difficulties that prevent individuals and groups from creating new social relationships without – or at least with less – racism, sexism, and homophobia, (Elam 181).On the contrary, James Baldwin did not only advocate for the rights of the black people but also advocates for the equality of gay and bisexual men which Martin and Zora Neale did not advocate.
James Baldwin dispels that black people are not equal to any other race. As a result, he advocates for social equity, and even he hopes that one day America will be rooted in social Justice.
James Baldwin dispels the assumption that gays and bisexuals are suffering from abnormal conditions. Correspondingly, James Baldwin articles show fervor and forthrightness towards gays and bisexuals.
Achievements of James Baldwin, Martin Luther King and Zora Neale
Zora Neale achieved a lot by documenting the tales she collected on gender inequality when she was collecting the African-American folklore. Even though, she did not live to see the gender equity and died struggling financially in a home for the old, her works are still relevant up to date and still enlightens the reader with gender equity.
Martin Luther King Jr achievements were quite many and could be directly associated with his works. The 1963March on Washington which had over two hundred thousand participants, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Birmingham campaign and finally Martin Luther King Jr got a Nobel Peace prize. Martin Luther King Junior speeches are motivating upcoming leaders who value equality like the President of United States Barrack Obama. Today, racism is not a major problem in the United States of America.
James Baldwin plays, and written essays were a source of motivation for the people who fought for race equality. Additionally, his articles that were lenient to gays and bisexuals are still relevant today for the fight against discrimination against equity.
What To Do To Eradicate Stereotypes
In the current world, stereotypes are the people who are the major supporters of gender inequality and racism. By increasing awareness campaigns on equality, the stereotypes will see the need for equality, the effects on inequality and the long-term effects. Furthermore, more people will become aware of their rights on equality of which, will be the first people to fight inequality that the stereotypes are causing, having the ripple effect of eradicating stereotypes.
American Rhetoric. 28 03 2016 <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm>.
Elam, Michele. The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their eyes were watching God. New York: HarperCollins, 1965.