Unit 4: Assignment 1 by Gwenyth Van Doren

Mary Church Terrell, What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States

  • Terrel’s religious affiliation is Christian.
    • She talks about her experiences of racial discrimination and segretation in church despite having the right as a human being to the “sanctuary of God.”
  • The violence Terrell describes is not physical, but more of a mental violence as black people are deprived of jobs and the experience of life simply due to their race. 
  • The common roots for the violence Terrell describes is race. 
  • Terrell describes a lot of the experiences of black women and how that despite their qualifications for a position or job they are denied it because of their race. 
    • I think Terrell uses “white sisters” ironically on page 205 because despite being the same gender, white women do not share and will never share the same experiences as black women. 
  • Terell does not propose any responses or solutions to anti-black violence but she does highlight it and its effect on black youth growing up.

Ida B. Wells, “Lynch Law in America”

  • Wells religious affiliation might be Christian because she states that Americans “knew nothing about Christianity….” 
  • The violence Wells describes is America’s national crime, lynching. She also describes that violent acts of mutilation that usually accompanies the lynching of black people.
  • Wells refers to the common roots of lynching as the “unwritten laws”, which can only refer to racism in all its forms.
  • Wells addresses white women’s role in the lynching of black men by just (falsely) accusing them of insult or assault.However, nothing happens when black women are insulted and/or assaulted by black men. 
  • Wells’ proposed response/solution to anti-black violence is for Americans to see the nation’s evils and “take the necessary steps to remedy it.” 

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