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Word Count: 654
It is no mystery to modern man that African-Americans have long been subjected to the prejudice of the contemptuous white man Lets face it the roots of racism can be traced back to the infancy of a nation which boldly claims liberty and justice for all Even following the alleged emancipation following the Civil War and Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s blacks remained inferior in all aspects of life Thus it would seem logical to expect African-American literature to be a tapestry of indignant diatribes against the ways of the ignorant white man However when we examine Alice Walkers Essay In Search of Our Mothers Gardens the vengeful tone we anticipate is nowhere to be found Rather we encounter a text which urges all persons black and white to relinquish the pursuit of white contrition and realize the common bond of that which makes us human In Walkers deeply personal exploration of her heritage she laments the oppression of enslaved and oppressed black women She notes that despite their apparent lack of creative thought we cannot assume that all black women did not possess some form of creativity Thus she asserts that the lack of black art is an indictment of the white slavery and not an indicator of black inferiority For how could a black slave especially a woman convey her most intimate thoughts to the outside world In a sense slavery existed for this very reason Without art and self-expression the slaves were molded into docile automatons And now Walker tells the story of their oppression she imparts to the world what her enslaved ancestors cannot that they too were artists and that they were in essence human The art that Walker unleashes in her writing is that art that the white man forbade Indeed she likens this concealed art to exquisite butterflies trapped in an evil honey 695 Further she explains that so many of the stories that she
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