Racism in the South (1902)

“… A colored woman, however respectable, is lower [in status] than the white prostitute. The Southern white woman will declare that no Negro women are virtuous, yet she placed her innocent children in their care….¬†(An Anonymous Black Woman¬†For the Record Chapter 21 Page 82).”


The middle of the 20th century was a time well-known for the activists for racial equality to step up and show the world a piece of their mind. However, before the time of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X, African Americans were not represented or heard for their concerns on inequality within America, the land of the free. For all the Whites cared for, Black people didn’t have any problems with what was happening to them. In the South, it wasn’t unusual for Blacks to be lynched. For a woman who lived in a white neighborhood, she must have been living in terror for her and her family every day. Although everyone in her area probably had the same income, everyone looked down on her family because they were Black.

According to the quote, she claimed that even White prostitutes are more respected than a Black housewife, like herself. Black women during her time faced double oppression; Whites looked down upon them for being Black, and Black men thought Black women were inferior because they were women. Knowing that she was the lowest of the low, her neighbors still left their kids to be babysat by someone who was worse than a prostitute. They used her for these kind of tasks, in some way, continuing to instill their authority over her family for being the inferior household in the neighborhood.