Archive for the 'Diversity' Category

Uzma Shakir Quotes

Last week Uzma Shakir, GTA activist, visited Windsor to talk about activism, feminism, Islam, immigration, community, and violence against women, racism, sexism, Islamophobia, Sharia law, and the imperiled Muslim woman. I kept a running list of quotes from the talks I attended.

Here they are:

  1. “Kids don’t drop out of school, they’re pushed out because the knowledge is not meaningful.
  2. Multiculturalism is not just food, music, and dance. I call it Sari and Samosa Syndrome. We’re not talking about power — let’s talk about my right to wear hijab, about power and privilege.
  3. Activism is not about convenience. I cannot be antiracist all day and then go home at 5 o’clock, put my feet up and be a bigot.
  4. As a white person you can walk away when you get tired about talking about white privilege. A person of colour cannot walk away.
  5. Not all rappers are about guns and bitches.
  6. I can speak English. The gift of 200 years of colonialism: you come out of your mother’s womb speaking English.
  7. I had an arranged marriage. I arranged it myself.
  8. My family turns into a nuclear family by virtue of Immigration Canada.
  9. I was liberated in Pakistan, based on my class and family support. In Canada I feel very oppressed, marginalized. Here I had no daycare and all I can get is a shitty job.
  10. Contract work is precarious employment. It is contingent, temporary.
  11. Mothering [as a new immigrant] is about going through hell and having no one to talk to.
  12. I do parenting workshops to deconstruct the other parenting workshops.
  13. Social justice is hard work and messy work.
  14. Language is not neutral. Language is political.
  15. The Sharia Hysteria: if you want it you’re a Neanderthal, if you don’t want it you are a liberal.
  16. Muslims do not have a monopoly on oppressing women.
  17. I don’t get offended anymore. If I’m continually insulted I am frozen into inaction.
  18. If I am the standard and you are different from me then I have the power.
  19. When you get tired of anti-racism and social justice, remember those who cannot walk away. You’ve got to stand with them.
  20. I don’t mind being an immigrant. But my children were born here — their imagination of home begins and end in Canada. I can go home to Pakistan but this is home to my children.
  21. Pakistan has been colonized for 200 years but the colonizers went home. They left behind their cronies to watch over us. But in Canada, the colonizers never went home.
  22. I didn’t know I was being a feminist until I came here a week ago. I thought I was just a woman who liked to fight.
  23. We have to fight together. We have been marginalized and oppressed and if we’re not careful we’re going to marginalize and oppress someone else.
  24. Everyone wants to save the muslim woman. Some want to put the hijab on me and save me; some want to take hijab off me and save me; some want to bomb us and save me. Just give me a break man! I can save myself! I don’t need Western imperialism to save me or Western feminism riding on the coattails of Western imperialism to save me. I can save myself.
  25. Just because we are doing social justice does not mean we are socially just.
  26. We [immigrants and refugees] don’t come here to live in poverty. We don’t come for the weather and we don’t come for the food – we bring the food! We come for the democracy.
  27. To hurt someone is to sin. To watch someone else get hurt and do nothing is a greater sin.
  28. If you are a man you can be a feminist – if you are a man you
  29. must be a feminist because if you’re not you’re part of the problem.

  30. I wish all I had to worry about was [my son's] baggy pants and who he dates. I have to worry if he’s going to get arrested, if he’s playing basketball, out with his Black and Arab friends. This is part of mothering for black mothers, aboriginal mothers, and now it is true for Muslim mothers.
  31. My children keep me grounded and I keep them political.

More about Uzma’s visit here:
Sari and Samosa Syndrome

and here:
Uzma Shakir is Spending this Week in Windsor

Sari and Samosa Syndrome

“Sari and Samosa Syndrome.” Coined by Uzma Shakir and shared at one of the stops on her visit to Windsor this week , this is what happens too often when people attempt to organize multicultural events. People are invited to wear their “traditional cultural dress” and serve “ethnic” food. There’s music and dancing and before you know it we’re all diverse and tolerant and there’s no more racism. Right?

Shakir argues that these are not transformative, anti-racist events. Without a discussion about power, equality, and social justice — real issues — what are we changing?

Windsor is guilty of this. Multiculturalism is more than Carousel of Nations. Multiculturalism is not a weekend field trip. Who at Carousel talks about poverty? About discrimination, violence, about a woman’s choice to wear or not wear hijab? What about forced marriage? Having years of education rejected, being unable to transfer skills and training? About being both an engineer and a cab driver?

Two years ago, when I sat at a table at a social justice conference with a bunch of high school teachers this is exactly what I witnessed. In attempt to deal with their frustrations with racism in the classroom at their school and a desire to recognize the diversity in the school’s population they set out to plan a Sari-and-Samosa event. I’m sure it was very successful too. So-and-so was a dancer, so-and-so could bring food — it’s so delicious, you know! — but the event was planned to be entertainment not issue focused. Ah well, who doesn’t like a samosa now and then? And at a elementary school last year the local grade school sent home information about their multicultural fair: bring in an ethnic food to share and to tell about your “culture”. Sorry, but culture is a lot more than food. Food is something we share, a point where we can recognize similarities, not a place to emphasize difference.

Why are we so afraid of the dialogue people?

Uzma Shakir is Spending this Week in Windsor

This year’s Distinguished Visitor in Women’s Studies at the University of Windsor is Uzma Shakir, a Pakistan-born community activist making a difference in Scarborough, Ontario. She is the 2003 recipient of the Jane Jacobs Prize and was recently awarded the Atkinson Foundation’s Economic Justice Award in recognition of her work on behalf of immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area. She works on issues related to immigration, social equity, the racialization of poverty, and the future of multiculturalism in Canada.

The events are open to the community but some require an rsvp. Details are below.

This is the schedule of events from the Distinguished Visitor website:

Week of Events 2008

Women, Knowledge and Activism, Class Visit
To be truly empowered, Uzma argues, women must do more than consume knowledge; they must use their own understanding of the world as a basis for knowledge. Uzma’s experiences with the feminist movement in Pakistan under a military dictatorship taught her that solidarity among women is built through directly engaging issues of complicity and marginality.
Date: Wednesday 22 October
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Place: Chrysler Hall South, room 162 (University of Windsor)
Course: Women in Protest
Instructor: Prof. Nancy Gobatto

Public Announcement to the Press
Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Toldo Health Education Centre, room 203 (University of Windsor)

What Does an Inclusive Feminism Look Like?, Class Visit
Speaking as a woman of colour with a history of feminist activism in Pakistan, Uzma argues that mainstream North American feminism has not served women of colour because it has been slow to question its own complicity with the imperial agenda of the state, inside Canada and outside. Uzma believes that feminist solidarity with white/western women is possible only with those who understand the difference between appropriation and solidarity and who commit to deconstructing white privilege.
Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: Toldo Health Education Centre, room 203 (University of Windsor)
Course: History of Women’s Movements in North America
Instructor: Dr. Renée Bondy

The Veiled Woman as Social Outsider, Class Visit
Uzma will show how Canadian state and public discourses have pathologized certain communities since 9/11, and how these
discourses frame Islamic women as “oppressed” in contrast to “liberated” white/western women.
Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Toldo Health Education Centre, room 203 (University of Windsor)
Course: Women, Race, and Social Justice
Instructors: Dr. Anne Forrest and Dr. Jane Ku

Islam, Women, and Canadian Law, Class Visit
Uzma will discuss the consequences for Islamic and non-Islamic women of the Ontario government’s decision to exclude Shari’a law from the arbitration process for resolving marital conflict, and of Elections Canada’s decision to permit veiled women to vote.
Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Place: Vanier Hall, Winclare A (University of Windsor)
Course: Women and the Law
Instructor: Prof. Amanda Burgess
This event is co-sponsored by the Stephen Jarislowsky Chair, Centre for Religion and Culture at Assumption University.

New Canadian Mothers: A Delicate Balancing Act, Class Visit
Uzma will discuss the dilemma of immigrant mothers who are responsible for transmitting the “home” culture to their children while negotiating a new cultural environment on their behalf. She will examine the burdens that racialization and criminalization impose, in order to show how race and marginality complicate the mothering process.
Date: Friday 24 October
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: Toldo Health Education Centre, room 203 (University of Windsor)
Course: Mothering and Motherhood
Instructor: Prof. Jacqueline Bobyk-Krumins

What Can Women Do Together?, Community Organization Luncheon
Uzma argues that social agencies must actively connect with other community groups for social change. Otherwise, they will leave unchanged the society that produces the social problems the agencies have been created to solve. Panelists will describe the very real barriers to moving beyond the service delivery model.
Panel Discussion with: Uzma Shakir, Patricia Noonan, and Gisèle Harrison. Rachel Olivero – moderator.
Date: Friday 24 October
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Place: Club Alouette, 2418 Central Ave.
If you or your delegate plan to attend, please R.S.V.P. to wsvisitor@uwindsor.ca or 519-253-3000 ext. 3727.

Take Back the Night March
A Call to Action: Identifying the Pressing Issues for Women
Take Back the Night is a world-wide event protesting male violence against women and children. All are welcome to the rally; however, the march is for women and children only. The march is symbolic of women’s right to reclaim the night without the need for a male escort.
Keynote Speaker: Uzma Shakir
Date: Saturday 25 October
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Place: Memorial of Hope, University of Windsor (between Essex & Dillon Halls)
Rally begins at 8:00 p.m., march to follow. For more information, please visit www.uwindsor.ca/takebackthenight.

In Conversation with…Uzma Shakir
Please join Friends of Women’s Studies for an afternoon of friendship and conversation with Uzma Shakir.
Date: Sunday 26 October
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Place: Betty Wilkinson Room, Art Gallery of Windsor, 401 Riverside Dr. W.
Tickets: $250 (this event is free for members of 250 for $250 and major donors)
R.S.V.P. by telephone at 519-253-3000 ext. 3727 or by e-mail at wsvisitor@uwindsor.ca by October 17.

“We are here because you were there!”, Class Visit
Uzma will examine connections between local and global conditions for women, in particular, how the growing disparity in wealth worldwide makes women in Canada more and more reliant on the undervalued labour of women in the global south.
Date: Monday 27 October
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: Odette Building, room 104 (University of Windsor)
Course: Women in Canadian Society
Instructors: Prof. Nancy Gobatto and Prof. Daniella Beaulieu

Re-scripting the National Narrative: A Woman’s Perspective, Class Visit
Uzma will illustrate how certain commonplace words and phrases obfuscate gender, race, sexuality and economic inequalities. She will deconstruct terms such as liberal democracy, multiculturalism, reasonable accommodation, diversity and tolerance.
Date: Monday 27 October
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Dillon Hall, room 361 (University of Windsor)
Course: Language and Women’s Place
Instructor: Prof. Nancy Gobatto

Beyond Sisterhood: Race, Immigration and Solidarity, Community Dinner
Keynote Speaker: Uzma Shakir
Date: Tuesday 28 October
Time: 5:30 p.m. Reception, 6:30 p.m. Dinner
Place: G. Caboto Club, 2175 Parent Ave. at Tecumseh Rd. E.
Tickets: Individual: $60
Students: $15
Table of 10: $600
Sponsor a table: $600 ($600 charitable tax receipt)
Sponsor a student: $60 ($60 charitable tax receipt)

R.S.V.P. by telephone at 519-253-3000 ext. 3727 or by e-mail at wsvisitor@uwindsor.ca or you may register online.

Please note that the office will close at 12:00 p.m. on October 28, 2008. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

For more information, e-mail wsvisitor@uwindsor.ca or call 519-253-3000 ext. 3727.

Casey Froese, hockey player: are we ready for girls in the boys’ room?

Front page of the Windsor Star today:

Casey Froese (age 11) is a minor hockey player in Windsor, Ontario. Recently it was discovered that she’s been suiting up all season in the boys’ (ages 9-10) locker room. Since then, she’s been told to suit up somewhere separate from the boys. Glenn Froese, her father, says this is sex discrimination and that she has a right to suit up with the boys.

The Windsor Minor Hockey Association Bylaw says that girls aren’t allowed in dressing rooms until 10 mins before game time. After games, girls have to leave the room before players remove equipment.

Yikes.

Dad brings up issues of of team bonding and how important it is that the players stay together. All the kids wear shorts and tshirts underneath (though this is not mandatory), that no one is showering or getting naked (although they could). From this angle, it seems like the question to ask is “what’s the harm?”

Well Mr. Froese, I agree with you. I think it would be great if everyone could get changed together and that gender didn’t matter. I think it would be great if everyone could just be team players and if no one cared whether you were girl or boy, gay or straight, cisgender or transgender, or every other possibility. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew for certain that everyone would be safe no matter where they went or what they wanted to do, regardless of their gender, sex, religion, skin colour, ethnicity, class, ability, etc? Wouldn’t it be great if 50% of women in Canada weren’t victims of physical or sexual violence at some point in their life (StatsCan)?

But we know that’s not the case. We know that women are victims of violence on much too frequent a basis. We’re talking about your daughter. She has a one in four chance of being a victim of sexual violence (Stats Can). You are gambling with the chances of whether or not she’ll be safe here. You think yes. Others say no. Can you guarantee that your daughter and every other girl will be safe at all times? You hope so but can you guarantee it?

How about we take all the kids out of the boys locker room. Have them change in the lobby. Or create a gender-neutral change room. As long as girls are in the boys’ room, the boys have the power. And I don’t think we’ve made that much progress yet. Maybe someday, but not yet.

Bucking the System

When you decide that things aren’t quite right and that you have the power to make changes in the world, however large or small those changes might be, you leave the path. You can no longer follow the map of your youth, the instruction book your parents gave you, or mimic the decisions made by those around you. Breaking new ground is just that — you’re on your own.

If you’re lucky you’ll find like-minded people along the way and together you can chart this new territory, consult before making brave new choices of your own, or stumble along, helping each other pick up broken pieces from the mistakes that come from any learning experience.

Love and relationships are a site of potential change as gender roles and relationship power dynamics are being navigated and changed by more and more couples. Heteronormativity is no longer the only relationship model, but what’s an individual to do when they are conscious of historical imbalances and there is a desire to leave hegemonic power differentials behind, but yet there really isn’t a clear cut working model to follow?

Start with divorce. In North America right now anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of marriages end in divorce. So many people are divorced which means their fantasy picture of the happy nuclear family with white picket fence, etc. is not their lived reality. I’m divorced but most of the people I know who are divorced are close to my age. I don’t have a whole lot of elders to look to for help navigating the fallout of divorce (like co-parenting with someone when we’d rather never see or speak to each other again). It’s not possible to just walk away from that person forever, in a way that it once was. Where is my role model? Someone to tell me that “one day this will be ancient history and here’s what worked for me”?

And single parenting. Where are the supports for parents who are doing it on their own? Shouldn’t this be worked out by now? If so many families in Canada are managed by single parent head of household and most of the families headed by single mothers are living in poverty why hasn’t it been dealt with? We’re doing things differently than our parents’ generation and there is no one to drive the soccer team around, bring cupcakes to school, or even attend PTA meetings. Time for basic family maintenance and survival is precious. There are no extras.

Regarding fathers, many today are more than breadwinners. Divorced or not, how many of them are following their own father’s parenting style? The supports and guidance for these men are minimal and those that are around are underutilized. Whether for lack of time or anxiety/inexperience with the support structures that do exist, there are lots of dads who are winging it.

Next, more and more adult students are turning up in university classes. Many of the ones I’ve encountered are women post-divorce who hope post-secondary education will be a way out of poverty for themselves and their families. The supports for us, the roadmap for how to study and parent and juggle work (sometimes more than one job) has yet to be drawn.

People are redefining what a relationship entails. Sex in a culture of AIDS and STIs (on top of the fear of an unwanted pregnancy) has to be negotiated. Rape and sexual harrassment are real things that could happen to you and could come from the people around you. It really could (or really has) happened to you.

Dating can now include all kinds of technology: emails and text messages and messenger clients. Profiles on myspace, facebook, and other social sites can lead you to potentials as well as the older sites specifically for finding a match. Some people still think it’s wrong to look for a date through a matchmaker site, others wouldn’t dream of going out with someone until they’ve sussed out their language skills and interests via the distance and safety (perceived or real) of online communication. Each person has to navigate this themself; there is no consensus as of yet.

More re: dating: the question of who pays for what on a date is no longer such a big deal — for some people. There are still traditions in place about who drives, who opens doors, who sits first. For some couples, these things are reciprocated but for others old habits die hard. For those in the new water, it can feel good to know your relationship is on equal footing and that a gift of kindness is just that: a gift, given and accepted altruistically, not in order to create debt.

Couples use language to show they are part of this new movement: descriptors like “partner” and S.O.for a significant other show real effort to reflect how we feel about another person. Gender-neutral language is a big part of this. Calling someone your partner reflects that they are truly an equal: equally responsible, equally knowledgeable, equally capable for maintaining the relationship and all it entails. It shows that a couple is committed to working together and is helpful in preventing one part from blaming the other for any difficulties. You are partners.

It can also be a way to reject the traditional marriage model of husband who rules and wife who is chattel and obeys. Rewriting the language helps us to reflect the true nature of our relationships. The term partner is also useful for describing same sex relationships since there is no implied gender in the word. The term partner opens up minds as to what a relationship can be, in an attempt to breakdown heterosexist culture.

Language isn’t the only changing thing in relationships today. Choosing cohabitation or longterm dating with each partner maintaining their own residence are practical alternatives to marriage for a lot of couples. Having children or not are greater options as methods to control fertility and prevent pregnancy are further developed. If a couple does decide to marry for legal or religious reasons there are a greater number of choices for language used in a ceremony to reflect equality between the individuals and the diversity of couples marrying. It’s no longer assumed that a woman will change her name when marrying a man — many couples choose a hyphenated name for all or a hybrid name.

We are an individualistic society. We have a lot of choices to make and there aren’t a whole lot of examples to follow. We do the best we can, with the information we have at the time, but are we really making informed choices? Do we just rationalize when we make a choice that follows a tradition?

If we were truly lazy we wouldn’t do anything differently. Because we do endeavour to make changes, to reconstruct our families, our language, our ideologies we mustn’t t be lazy. Doing things differently takes effort, but it’s worth it: for us, our families, other people breaking ground along side us, and those who will follow.

Racism in the bathwater

Background: Canada funds two school systems: the public and the separate (Catholic) in both official languages, French and English. Incidentally, there are private Fundamentalist Christian schools, a Mennonite school, and an Islamic school in the local community that receive no government support. Parents whose children attend these schools are still required to pay taxes to support either the public or the separate school system.

A friend’s (former) employer revealed to her that he sends his kids to separate school (Catholic) because the students there are all white children. He doesn’t want his kids around people of colour and so even though they are not Catholic they’ll go to Catholic school to get away from “those people”.

This should be reason enough to cease funding to separate schools – something I’ve never supported. The last thing the school systems should be doing is facilitating racism! Because there are multiple choices, parents can choose to segregate their kids. On the surface we can say that Canada is diverse and multi-cultural but the reality is that we are pockets of isolated communities. Individuals do not have to encounter, accept, understand or empathize with anyone who is not the same as them.

I have heard all kinds of reasons for why people send their kids to Catholic school: to be taught immersed in their religion (if they are Catholic), to learn morals and values (if the family is not Catholic), because the special needs programs are superior, because the school is closer than the public, because we want to access insert special program offered at the separate school nearby – French immersion for example. I’d argue that none of these are enough to warrant public spending either but I digress.

I hate that this man is filling his children with these ideas of hate. No matter what teaching happens in the classroom, these kids are growing up with a racist father. I would hope that nothing in the school or the teaching would further the seeds that the father is planting, but I know back when I was a kid in small town Ontario, the only people of colour I ever saw were on the collection boxes for Unicef. I certainly needed my brain stretched to realize the racism surrounding me and that I was complicit in as I grew up. This happened when I left small town Ontario and entered the larger world and even more so when I entered the Women’s Studies program. I hope the teaching in elementary school is better these days. Given my kids’ experiences so far I really really doubt it.

The F-word again: what’s the diff between ‘egalitarianism’ and ‘feminism’?

An egalitarian believes in equality for all people: equal opportunity, equal access to resources, regardless of their gender, age, skin colour, language, culture, sexual orientation, religion, ability, etc.

A feminist shares this belief but takes it further and says that women’s oppression must be acknowledged and eliminated before an egalitarian society can exist. We cannot discuss ‘equality’ without discussing women’s lack of equality. Thus, a feminist is a specific type of egalitarian (thought ‘feminist’ can be broken down further, into different ‘types’ of feminists), and feminism is a branch of egalitarianism. Of course there will be overlap: many feminists will also be LGBTQ activists, many LGBTQ activists will also be animal rights activists, many animal rights activists will also be feminists and so on go the circles.

Not a mommyblogger, not a Jane

I’m on my way home from BlogHer 2006 and realizing that there are a lot of things I am not. Mostly today I know I’m not a mommyblogger.

Mommy/parent blogging does have incredible potential to support new parents in what can be overwhelming isolation and a shocking discovery that babies are not all crisp cotton, cute bunny flannel, and eyelet lace. But there was a sense that BlogHer 2006 was a mommyblog love-in. I know mommy bloggers are plentiful and organized into communities and websites and it makes sense that many would want to attend BlogHer to meet their blog crushes, friends, etc., but… they’re a tough clique to crack – and not all women desire these things. I felt like I was crashing a party or like Hermie the wanna-be dentist elf who just didn’t fit in.

I don’t think I’ve made enough of an effort to really find a place in any blogging community in particular. I’ve been a blog hermit and a blog transient: I read daily, I write occasionally, but mostly I keep to myself. I can make a conscious effort to try to break out of my hermit ways but what about the many other non-mommybloggers there this weekend? I wish someone had organized a session that would have taken on some of the heavier issues that were only brushed upon this weekend. I thought the feminist blogger birds of a feather session might have done this but it was over before it really got going. Maybe had I attended the post BlogHer Woolfcamp…

It takes a certain amount of confidence to walk up to someone and start talking. It takes a belief that you have something worthwhile to share and/or enough courage to say ftw if no one cares. BlogHer was just too big for me. I would have done better with some smaller break-out sessions – though maybe these happened in other sessions and I missed them. How many other bloggers are introverted and have a hard time jumping in to large group discussions? The long days with back-to-back sessions wore me out. I know that many, many bloggers are insightful and intelligent and I would have loved to talk to more of them.

I also know that I’m not a Jane. I’ve done home repairs (and foresee many more in my future) but I get sweaty and I swear when it gets rough. Which, at my house happens quickly. My tools are crummy because many of them used to live outside on my grandparents’ farm. The house really should have fallen down at least a generation ago. Keeping it standing is not an exciting weekend project, it’s an ongoing struggle that I’d rather not think about. It’s far from a girls’ night pajama party but maybe that’s because I’m not staining my driveway or hanging a shelf, I’m dealing with a rotting foundation. A rotting foundation that I’m very happy to have considering the stats for single mothers in Canada.

BlogHer highlights for me: drinks on the patio Friday night and finding out Saturday morning that one of those awesome women writes arse poetica (one of the first feeds I ever grabbed!!!) and meeting the great and multiblogous Sour Duck at the Day 2 welcome.

Packaging

Bitch Ph.D. wrote a post yesterday about finding a well-made and well-fitting bra.

There’s an update today with more advice and some information clarified by a bra wizard.

I think the posts are great and the advice helpful – - – for people with symmetrical breasts! Feminism has struggled with redefining beauty and worked to make space for all shapes and sizes of women, but what hasn’t happened is progress into the packaging, ribbons and bows (figurative and literal) for these diverse shapes and sizes. Read more »

The Myth of Mammy in The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts

The novel The Bondwoman’s Narrative recounts the journey of a fugitive slave woman named Hannah, from enslavement in North Carolina to freedom in New Jersey. She struggles through a life filled with cruel masters, lost-and-found-again friendships, and basic physical survival. Readers will find her positive outlook inspiring, but the amount of coincidental good fortune Hannah encounters sometimes makes the novel less than plausible. Of particular interest is the novel’s representation of Mammy. The Bondwoman’s Narrative has many illustrations of this cultural icon, particularly the main character Hannah. Careful examination reveals however, that the people who stand in Hannah’s path to freedom or who contribute to her oppression frequently become victims of misfortune themselves.

Read more »

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