Crummell Alexander's Pamphlet: The Black Woman Of The South Her Neglets And Her Needs

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Crummell Alexander's Pamphlet: The Black Woman of the South her neglets and her Needs

Crummell Alexander's Pamphlet: The Black Woman of the South her neglets and her Needs

Alexander Crummell

A nineteenth-century black nationalist, pan-Africanist, clergyman, author, and educator, Alexander Crummell is best known as the founder of the American Negro Academy, America's first major black learned society, which was established in Washington, D.C., in 1897. Although he certainly qualified as an abolitionist in his early years, he was always more interested in improving the plight of free blacks than in emancipating the slaves. Although he never rose to the same level of notoriety as his contemporaries Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, Crummell was arguably just as important to the development of the African American mind in the late-nineteenth century. A highly original thinker, he expounded many of the ideas that civil rights leaders of the twentieth century would later adopt.

The Black Woman of the South her neglets and her Needs

In this piece of writing, the author has pointed out the elements of discrimination with the black women. The young girl explores multiple conflicts among motherhood, work, and men. More often than not, these conflicts leave her guilt ridden. In this work, author specifically departs from traditional expectations of autobiography by telling readers much more of the truth than some of them may want or expect to hear, and telling it in a way that produces an effect of fragmentation rather than wholeness. As a madam, prostitute, and chanteuse, the black women wrestles with demons that threaten to keep her imprisoned in a world of fear and hopelessness, unable to trust herself and others. Also worthy of note is her focus on clothes, symbolic of the “costuming” of one's self (Alexander, 1972).

The first part of the book is a hymn to this loving, protective, and nurturing mother figure whose spiritual power and pride at being black, notwithstanding her conservatism and inflexibility, give the young girl a sense of security and self-confidence that she will lose only as the “outsiders” come back into her life. This reveals the many intimate secrets, mistakes, and feelings of a young woman who is trying to make it as an adult, but fails to achieve the American Dream. The black young girl plays the most sordid and confusing roles while she works as a cook, waitress, dancer, prostitute, clothing seller and still, matures with these ...
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