Washington, Mary Helen. contents. We Are Coming: The Persuasive Discourse of Nineteenth Century Black Women. [12], Telling of Cooper’s tactful deconstruction of the white aesthetic gaze is Elizabeth Alexander’s “We Must Be about Our Father’s Business.” Alexander argues that Cooper strategic use of “I” and the first person “allows her own experience – her own existence, even – to inform the rhetoric of her text as evidence of the feminist strategy she advocates.”[13] The extent to which her “own existence” strengthens the arguments of A Voice is noted in her use of the first person in references to “intellectual fathers.”[14] Alexander contends that by injecting “anecdotes from her own experience” in her discussion of these canonical figures, Cooper fuses political theory with the lived experiences of African American women. These are two issues very close to Cooper as an African American woman herself and she claims to speak for allRead More May states that in creating this dialogue, “Cooper inserts herself into a rhetorical position of authority, of a fully rational person speaking with other open – minded persons.”[20] Reflected in this use of dialogue is Cooper’s negotiation of aesthetics. Anna J. Cooper – A Voice from the South In her book, A Voice from the South, Anna J. Cooper expressly addresses two issues: the participation of women in American society and America"s race problem. Literary Elements: Allusion: "Mahomet makes no … Historically, African Americans have viewed the literary canon as a space for resistance, and for the expression of political thoughts on racial uplift. The result is an impassioned scholarly argument advocating fundamental change in the status and treatment of African American women. [16] Through this specific literary technique, “Cooper places herself as an active, visible agent in the writing of the book…Cooper places herself in the active present tense; the book reads not like a moldering tome, but as work…with a definite sense of source and agency.”[17]. While Cooper's main target is white racism, she also criticizes African American men, of whom she observes, “While our men seem thoroughly abreast of the times on almost every other subject, when they strike the woman question they drop back into sixteenth century logic.” Also singled out are the hypocrisy and racism of white feminists, including leaders such as Anna Shaw and Susan B. Anthony, whose pitting of white women's goals against the rights of people of color Cooper attacks in ‘“Woman vs. the Indian.”’. Through this rhetorical technique, she not only emerges as a “fully rational person speaking with other open-minded people,” but a “gazer,” equipped with right and ability to mark a space of contemplation about aesthetic expression. Upon first sight the difference Cooper constructs between herself and black women prevents her from completely evoking black women’s socio-political potential as the “ideological brush of true womanhood” was largely incompatible with the realities of black women at the turn of the 20th century. Cooper, Anna Julia. Summary: The women's status and value were determined by Christianity and the feudal system. In the short but powerful opening statement of A Voice from the South, Our Raison dÊtre (1892) Cooper explains that while the voice of the Negro (man) of the South has been but a muffled chord, the one mute and voiceless note has been the sadly expectant Black woman (cited in The Voice of Anna Julia Cooper, hereafter VAJC, p. 51). A cornerstone of black feminist and political theory, this collection of essays focuses on racial progress and women's rights. A Voice from the South (1892) is the only book published by one of the most prominent African American women scholars and educators of her era. In the text, Cooper emphasizes that, “Only if the black woman can say “when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me.”[4] In this illuminating declaration, she asserts that the progress of African Americans is impossible without black women. Situating Cooper: Context for Cooper’s Two Best-Known Writings. In A Voice from the South, Anna Julia Cooper transforms the conventions and formalized symbols of the genteel language of true womanhood. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Welcome to the Graduate Student academic review blog of the American & New England Studies program at Boston University! [13] Elizabeth Alexander, “We Must Be about Our Father’s Business”: Anna Julia Cooper and the In-Corporation of the Ninteenth-Century African-American Woman Intellectual,” SIGNS 20 no. A. [6] Cooper’s identification with the voices and views of her white audience emerges as a plausible strategy and effective method of persuasion, as she appears to challenge the white, aesthetic gaze. A. The simple but expressive forms of the blues became by the 1960s one of the most important influences on the development of popular music. Learn more about blues, including notable musicians. In A Voice from the South, she radically shifts from the position of the “object” to the “gazer.” Traditionally, whites are the “gazers” and define the aesthetic experience, determine what is aesthetically displeasing and police themselves and society based upon their own sameness, as well as their own difference from blacks. Instant downloads of all 1388 LitChart PDFs (including Up From Slavery). A Voice From The South Summary; A Voice From The South Summary. “The Voice of Anna Julia Cooper: Including A Voice from the South and Other Important Essays, Papers, and Letters”, p.194, Rowman & Littlefield 12 Copy quote. A revised language emerges; capable of communicating both racial and gendered politics and capable of speaking to the “multiplicity and complexity of her own situation”. In this section, Cooper analyzes the historical role of peace and racial difference in various nations. (Anna Julia), 1858-1964; Woodson, Carter Godwin, 1875-1950, former owner. Highlights. 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