Oppression and Emancipation of African American Women in Suzan Lori Parks’ Venus

Muhannad Hassan Jasim, Lajiman Janoory

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to critically explore various challenges faced by oppressed and suppressed African American women in the western societies. It also explores the varied emancipatory efforts they make when striving to absolve themselves of the forces of oppression and dehumanization as portrayed by Suzan Lori Parks in her play, Venus. The paper uses the postcolonial feminist theory of the Subaltern as the basis for the analysis to thoroughly examine the play extrinsically and intrinsically. In her play, Suzan- Lori Parks portrays African American women facing the turbulence of racism, discrimination and inequality in the western socio-geographical setting. She confidently and aesthetically reveals various challenges hindering the progress and life fulfilment of the African American women through the heroine of her play. The paper traces the history of Venus, unveils the cruelty of the European mentality and racial discrimination against African women. It also shows the rights of African women and identifies new ways for them to express their identities. Finally, the paper reveals that despite the obvious and prevalent acts of discrimination for African women for over the years, the problem persists. However, unlike the pre–Civil Rights era, today’s discrimination is less readily identifiable.

Keywords


Discrimination, Racism, Subaltern, Suzan Lori Parks, and Venus

Full Text:

PDF

References


Barrett, L. F., & Swim, J. K. (1998). Appraisals of prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice: The target’s perspective, 11-36.

Beverley, J. (1999). Subalternity and representation: Arguments in cultural theory: Duke University Press.

Connolly, M. (2006). Discrimination Law: Theories of discrimination law; 2. The sources of anti-discrimination law; 3. The prohibited grounds of discrimination; 4. Direct discrimination; 5. Harassment and other unlawful acts; 6. Indirect discrimination; 7. Victimisation; 8. Discrimination in employment; 9. Equal pay; 10. Discrimination in fields other than employment; 11. Disability discrimination; 12. Positive action; 13. Enforcement of the discrimination legislation: Sweet & Maxwell.

Dainty, A. R., & Lingard, H. (2006). Indirect discrimination in construction organizations and the impact on women’s careers. Journal of Management in Engineering, 22(3), 108-118.

Dovidio, J. F., & Gaertner, S. L. (1986). Prejudice, discrimination, and racism: Historical trends and contemporary approaches: Academic Press.

Feagin, J. R., & Feagin, C. B. (1978). Discrimination American style: Institutional racism and sexism: Prentice Hall.

Geis, D. R. (2008). Suzan-Lori Parks: University of michigan Press.

Giglio, E. (2007). Talk Like An Egyptian: Applying the Theory of the Subaltern to the Works of Nawal El Saadawi. Agora, 16(2007), 5.

Goto, A. J. (2007). Digging Out of the Pigeonhole: African American representation in the Plays of Suzan Lori Parks. Suzan-Lori Parks: A Casebook, 106-123.

Guyll, M., Matthews, K. A., & Bromberger, J. T. (2001). Discrimination and unfair treatment: relationship to cardiovascular reactivity among African American and European American women. Health Psychology, 20(5), 315.

Hunter, R. (1992). Indirect discrimination in the workplace: Federation Press.

Kamara, L. T. (2013). The Investor's Creed.

Larson, J. (2008). The revisionary aesthetic of Suzan-Lori Parks:“Hear the bones sing, write it down”. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lewis, S. F. (2012). ‘Everything I Know About Being Femme I Learned From Sula’or Toward a Black Femme-inist Criticism. Trans-Scripts, 2, 100-125.

Mukhuba, T. T. (2017). The representation of patriarch perception in selected African literary works. Gender and Behaviour, 15(2), 8561-8570.

Neimneh, S. (2013). The Construction of the Other in Postcolonial Discourse: CP Cavafy’s “Waiting for the Barbarians” as an Example. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 2(5), 133-138.

Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2006). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Parks, S.-L. (1990). The DEATH of the LAST BLACK MAN in the whole entire WORLD. Theater, 21(3), 81-94.

Parks, S.-L. (2013). The America play and other works: Theatre Communications Group.

Patai, D. (1988). Who's calling Whom'Subaltern'? Women and Language, 11(2), 23.

Robinson, J. O. (2015). Prejudice in Venus Traces the Roots of Black Female Iconography.

Saal, I. (2005). The politics of mimicry: The minor theater of Suzan-Lori Parks. South Atlantic Review, 70(2), 57-71.

Solomon, A. (1990). Signifying on the Signifyin': The Plays of Suzan-Lori Parks. Theater, 21(3), 73-80.

Spivak, G. C. (1988). Can the subaltern speak? Can the subaltern speak? Reflections on the history of an idea, 21-78.

Springer, S. (2011). Violence sits in places? Cultural practice, neoliberal rationalism, and virulent imaginative geographies. Political Geography, 30(2), 90-98.

Wilmer, S. E. (2000). Restaging the Nation: The Work of Suzan-Lori Parks. Modern Drama, 43(3), 442-452.

Young, J. (1997). The Re-Objectification and Re-Commodification of Saartjie Baartman in Suzan-Lori Parks's Venus. African American Review, 31(4), 699-708.

穴田理枝. (2016). Enacting Black Suffering and Laughter: Creative Restorations of Black Experiences in Suzan Lori-Parks's Plays.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.