This paper is published in Volume 3, Issue 6, 2018
African American Literature
G. M. Madhavi
Rayalaseema University, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India
Pub. Date
26 June, 2018
Paper ID
African Americans, Racial discrimination, Gender, Colour, Slave humiliation, Oppression


G. M. Madhavi. Marginalization and Oppression of African American Women, International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology,

G. M. Madhavi (2018). Marginalization and Oppression of African American Women. International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology, 3(6)

G. M. Madhavi. "Marginalization and Oppression of African American Women." International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas and Innovations in Technology 3.6 (2018).


African Americans have had to face many obstacles to get their standing today. First, their forefathers were brought to American colonies as slaves in 17th and 18th centuries. Then, they continued slavery for generations being treated like animals, discriminated, oppressed and marginalized. The present paper makes an attempt to study the marginalized life of colored women in Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Being colored women, both Walker and Morrison have the advantage of portraying what it is to be a woman of color in the society. It is obvious that their slave ancestors and the years of struggle for woman rights give them the opportunity to create life-like characters in their novels. Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple is based on a black community. She was the first major writer to make a full-fledged attack on patriarchal domination within the black community itself. Celie, a fourteen-year-old protagonist is a slave in her own home and in her own community. She is almost completely voiceless but her letters enable her to break the silence secretly that is normally imposed on her. It is a story about personal transformation and empowerment of oppressors especially black women. By reading the novel one can understand that by fighting against adversity, one can examine identity, discover selfhood and become free from the bondage of oppressive. Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved offers a painfully compelling, detailed account of slave humiliation and oppression. It tells the story of a mother, Sethe who is a black slave female formerly suffers from slavery, racism, violence, and rape. The novel describes the incessant burning, emotional conflict in the consciousness of Sethe. The horrors of slavery lead Sethe to commit an act of violence against her child. Though Sethe justifies the murder as her way of sending her children to a better existence this justification does no good to Sethe psychologically. Thus, she restores her human dignity as well as her child’s and denies the right of the whites to possess her family as slaves. The novels The Color Purple and Beloved are set in post-slavery. They are saturated with violence and other forms of oppressive behavior towards women. The women in the novels bear gender, class and racial discrimination which are often expressed through violence and sexual abuse.
Paper PDF