Walker asked the question what did it mean for a black woman to be an artist in our grandmothers’ time.” These women labored long, hard hours from sunup to sundown picking cotton in the fields. The luckier ones(often times the fairer-skinned ones) labored in the house tending to the master and mistress. These women bore many children, some of whom were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Too, they faced and succumbed to the sexual advances of their masters.
Imagine for a moment our female children and grandchildren. How would they describe our lives? To begin, they would acknowledge our accomplishments and the countless trials we overcame in areas of education, entertainment, and our personal endeavors. They would say “Our mothers and grandmothers went to the best schools, became lawyers, doctors, and scientists. They were famous, had countless hit songs; won coveted awards. They won Olympics medals, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries.
Take for example Oprah’s accomplishments as a Black television hostess, billionaire, and philanthropist. Or Condoleezza Rice, the first female African-American Secretary of State. Or even Halle Berry, the first Black woman to win an Oscar.
On the other hand though, our children and grandchildren might say that we’ve shame the image of the Black woman, that we’ve taken creativity to an entirely different dimension. Take a look at the rap videos, where women dance and gyrate half-naked. Even R&B singers have ‘sexified’ their image, wearing more scandalous outfits. Yes, they are gifted and create beautiful music., but where’s the creativity?
I wonder what our grand children and great-grand children might say about their mothers and grandmothers. I also wonder how, as black woman, their lives will be.