Friday, 20 January 2012

African American Womens Identity in America

  The website i've chosen to analyse belongs to the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (NACWC), and has been an active organisation for African American women since 1896. It promotes the joining of forces to ensure a rise from current positions for all; effectively recognising and uniting all African American women as one and the same, and ensuring the development of them all for future generations.

There is a big emphasis on uplifting the way of life for all Americans by raising the moral standards of their entire race, and the promotion and protection of their rights. It states, 'We, the colored women of the United States of America, stand united for service to humanity,' and encourages anyone of this sex and race to unite with the association and help 'obtain for African American women the opportunity of reaching the highest levels in all fields of human endeavor.'

It considers one African American woman's struggles as belonging to all of them, and by joining this organisation you can hope to rise above your current situation in life with the help of like-minded people from assorted situations. In this respect, having decided this is your common held identity, you are gaining a huge store of knowledge relevant to your racial and gender history, support in your future endeavours and an undeniable unity with people of commonly held goals, worries and aspirations.

Although some could argue at a loss of individuality by finding such a large commonality to define yourself by; in gaining an identity this way, as an African American woman, you are obtaining a lifetime of security and the unique benefits associated with the organisation. It would be very tempting for any individual, especially an American who strives for a sense of belonging, to subscribe to the ideals of an organisation such as this, in order to feel a part of the bigger picture. 

A particularly interesting aspect of this website is the individual freedom it gives you to form your own local group for African American women, yet still be a part of the main organisation. It gives explicit information on how to do so, and encourages responsibility with its variety of required figureheads - critically involving as many people as possible. In this way, individuals will be made to feel important and crucial to others within their common held identity. Giving them not only an identity, but something important with which to do with it.

Membership costs seem to be kept generally low to allow most people to enter, and a milestone of successes for African American women takes pride of place on their 'who we are' tab. Their events and programs are well advertised, and the general feel is that of immense pride. That by recognising yourself as an African American woman you should be proud of your identity and revel in all of the progress and accomplishments your gender and race has made throughout history. In such a way, that by finding your identity you have found your place within the world and accepted your past.

The website's motto of 'lifting as we climb' seems a very accurate description of what being a member of this society entails, and by advocating the African American woman in such a light, the importance of identifying yourself seems all the more important.

No comments:

Post a Comment