Question

Answer the following questions with specificity and to the best of your ability. Please type your response on a separate page to answer each question and number your answers in correspondence to the appropriate question. If you utilize direct quotes from the readings, remember to follow proper citation.

1) According to the author of “The Dekinking of African Hair”, what are some of the reasons Black women participate in chemically straightening their hair? What are the rationales the author provides for why “de-Africanizing” the body is perceived as beneficial or positive in American society?

2) According to Toni Morrison in the forward of “The Bluest Eye”, why does she decide to write this novel? Who is her intended audience and what does she hope they take away from this text?

3) In “The Bluest Eye”, what is the significance of Pecola’s character? How do Claudia and Frieda perceive their “beauty” as black women?

Solution Preview

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1.) The reasons as given by the African women as that their hair which was supposed to be the crowning glory is now an object of loathe and hatred.   African women want to straighten their kinked hair because of the peculiar aspect of being discriminated against. They feel that their hair is a story of rage, shame and rain. Or better yet, of fear, loathing and ignorance. (Green 1993:38)
According to accepted norms of fashion thick lips, dark skin, and nappy hair are not beautiful.
They wanted to look like the pagan Europeans and hence resorted to chemically straightening their hair. According to the Africans, fair skin was onto only beautiful but alluring too. Straight hair was considered to be God like. Hence the African resorted to straightening and lightening their hair....

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