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Kindred

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Kindred

In what ways does Angela Davis's article relate to Kindred? Where in the novel can you see the stereotype of black women as loose and available and black men as sexual beasts? How does this relate to today?

Angela Davis's article discusses two myths as related to blacks. These are that black men are disproportionably inclined to rape and that black women are promiscuous. In the book Kindred, I feel that these stereotypes are portrayed as the exact opposite and therefore really are myths without documentation.

White men are the ones portrayed as sexual beasts in the book Kindred. Rufus, the son of the white plantation owner wants to bed Alice, a black slave. Alice is in love with another slave, Isaac. Alice and Isaac try to run away but get caught. Dana tries to talk some sense into Rufus. Rufus tells Dana; "When we were little, we were friends. We grew up. She got so she'd rather have a buck nigger than me." Dana then asks; "Do you mean her husband?" Rufus then said, "I would have taken better care of her than any field hand could. I wouldn't have hurt her if she hadn't just kept saying no." Dana tells Rufus that Alice has the right to say no, but Rufus says; "We'll see about her rights!" (Butler 123.) In the end Alice eventually has little choice but to sleep with Rufus and ends up bearing two children of his. She really had no choice. Dana tells Alice "you have three choices. You can go to him as he orders; you can refuse, be whipped, and then have him take you by force; or you can run away again." (Butler 167) Dana also realizes that Rufus in his own way loves Alice but in the 1800's "there was no shame in raping a black woman, but there could be shame in loving one. (Butler 124).

Rufus's father Tom also slept with the black slaves even though he was married to Margaret, so naturally Rufus believed that he had that right as well. Tom Weylin slept with a slave named Tess and eventually passed her on to Jake Edwards who was in charge of the field hands. Tess told Dana "You do everything they tell you, and they still treat you like a old dog. Go here, open your legs; go there, bust your back. What they care! I ain't s'pose to have no feelin's!" (Butler 182) "He had spent his life watching his father ignore, even sell the children he had had with black women. Apparently it had never occurred to Rufus to break that tradition>" (Butler 231).

I could find no examples of either black women or white women portrayed as loose. The black slaves were in monogamous relationships such as Nigel and Carrie. Tom Weylin separated Alice's parents. He had tried to visit his wife and daughter but got dragged away by patrollers after being whipped. When Dana asks Alice's mom if her husband had a pass, she said; "No. He won't get one either. Not to come see me. Mister Tom said for him to choose a new wife there on the plantation. That way, Mister Tom'll own all his children." (Butler 40). The only white woman in the book was Margaret, Tom Weylin's wife.

This book and the Davis article relates to many stories that have been in the news. In March 2006, three lacrosse

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