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2015

Theses/Dissertations

University of Pennsylvania

American Literature

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Violating Maternity: Servitude, Sexual Abuse, Lynching And The (Un)Making Of The Black Maternal Subject, Michele Sharon Frank Jan 2015

Violating Maternity: Servitude, Sexual Abuse, Lynching And The (Un)Making Of The Black Maternal Subject, Michele Sharon Frank

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

VIOLATING MATERNITY: SERVITUDE, SEXUAL ABUSE, LYNCHING AND THE (UN)MAKING OF THE BLACK MATERNAL SUBJECT

Michele Sharon Frank

Herman Beavers

This dissertation argues that African American women writers have identified the black maternal figure as a primary symbol of black cultural trauma. Through an examination of selected texts from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, I isolate writers’ and dramatists’ explorations of servitude, sexual abuse and lynching as systemic, historical violations of blackness and womanhood that have shaped black women’s maternal experiences. African American women writers’ depictions of black women’s experience of and resistance to such systemic violations of ...