Slaves their cultures, gender, class, and territory.

Slaves in the South vs. Japanese Modern Women

Japan’s
modern women and African American slaves in the South are two groups of communities
impacted by Imperialism. The impact of Imperialism on these communities had
severe impact on their cultures, gender, class, and territory. African
Americans were enslaved and brought to the Americas to provide cheap labor for
the white American landowners. They were taken from their homeland and forced
to live in a new territory and culture without any freedom or rights. Also,
United States exploited the African Americans by treating them as second class
citizens stripped of identity and enslaved. On the other hand, Japan influenced
by European and western imperialism was motivated by political gain and
willingly accepted western ideas. European and Western imperialism in Japan
allowed it to become the first dominant industrialized super power in the Asian
nations. For Japan, imperialism was a political move. These two groups are
different but do share some common factors. African American’s culture and
traditional Japanese culture were both influenced by imperialism. Both
communities’ appearance and thinking was influenced by western or European
imperialism influence. Japanese modern women and African American slaves in the
south reflects how imperialism can impact communities of people.

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According
to the Boundless US History: American Imperialism, “American imperialism is a
phrase that is used to describe the economic, military, and cultural influence
of the United States on other countries (Boundless US History: American
Imperialism, p.1).” The African Americans dilemma is still a persistent problem
today. African Americans have been kept in a state of ignorance and
helplessness under American imperialistic control for hundreds of years. Inhuman
slave hunts by the Europeans and Americans in Africa have broken up and destroyed
villages, tribes and family. The human exploitation and degradation that they
faced when they arrived by ship to America is horrible.  The labor that the African American slaves
supplied to the land owners in the South provided cheap slaves to work in gathering
rubber, cocoa, and raising cotton. African Americans were forced to wear
American style clothing, learn English, and provide cheap labor. They had no
basic rights at all. They were basically materialistic properties of their
owners. Their children could be sold away and families were often broken apart.
American imperialism forced the African Americans to adapt to the American
culture. American white landowners had complete control over the slaves by
forms of beatings, tortures, and hangings. This type of abuse of power was
quite the normal behavior of the white landowners in the south in order to have
full power over the slaves. Even until the mid-1900’s, the white American
imperialism influence can still be visible. The southern legislatures controlled
by whites passed Jim Crow laws to enforce discrimination and segregation. The
only justice in the Supreme Court to disagree with this is John Marshall
Harlan. Attached to the reading 10 Booker T Washington Atlantic Compromise, “John
Marshall Harlan DISSENT FROM PLESSY V. FERGUSON” states, “We boast of the
freedom enjoyed by our people above all other peoples.  But it is difficult to reconcile that boast
with a state of the law which, practically, puts the brand of servitude and
degradation upon a large class of our fellow-citizens, our equals before the
law (R10_BookerTWashingtonAtlantaCompromise, p.8).” In the “Dissent from Plessy
v. Ferguson, John Marshall Harlan felt that dominant white American politicians
still continued to have control over the rights of American blacks through the
1900’s (R10_BookerTWashingtonAltlanticCompromise, p.8).  The policy of extending the rule or authority
over the African Americans had long lasting impact in which much of their
culture and language was dominated by the American white people.

In the
1850’s, Japan was socially separated into hierarchical classes ruled by shoguns
or warlords of each domain.  Japan went
through a huge transformation during the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho
(1912-1925) periods. Japanese thought that Interactions with Americans and
Europeans were necessary to bring Japan to be part of the modern world. Japan
was the first Asian nation to earn respect as an industrialized world power. Introduction
of Western values created changes in domestic values and practices amongst the
Japanese women population. The Western imperialism influenced democracy,
education, abolition of feudalism, liberal values, women’s status, individualism,
and female equality. Japanese women began to rethink of their roles in society.
Japan had become a constitutional monarchy with a democratically elected
parliament by the 1920’s. Not only did the western and European imperialism
influence Japan’s political change, people began eating new types of western
food and wearing western styled clothing. Japanese women began to take more
active roles as writers, workers, consumers, and intellectual thinkers. The
“traditional” roles of women were being questioned and reevaluated by the
modern women in Japan. Modern girls or women of Japan favored western style of
fashion, shorter hairstyles, and freer attitudes with sexuality and dating. In
reading 8 “The Bluestockings Hiratsuka Raicho” states “Women wanted to be more
active in public life instead of being good wives and wise mothers supporting
their husbands, raising kids, and managing household affairs
(R08_Bluestockings, p. 89)”. Some Japanese women rejected the idea of traditional
Japanese women. For example, Hiratsuka Raicho was a writer who became an
influential key figure in the modern women’s movement. Raicho writes, “The New
Women will not merely destroy the old morality and laws created to benefit
men’s selfishness. Rather, with the bright virtue of a sun tat renews itself
each day; the New Women is trying to build a new realm of the spirit, a realm
endowed with a new religion, new morality, and new laws (R08_Bluestockings, p.
87)”. Raicho was an advocate of the modern women in Japan taking a more active
role in the women’s movement. Raicho and other writers were influential in the
women’s rights movement in Japan.

In
conclusion, Japan’s modern woman and the African Americans slaves in the south
depict how imperialism influenced the political, economic, and indigenous
populations they control. African Americans in the south were dominated by the
white Americans. Their culture, language, home and family was controlled by the
Americans. European and Western imperialism of Japan was to indirectly control
over the political or economic life by the imposition of power or
influence.  Both communities affected by
imperialisms had differences and similarities. We can see these changes through
their art, culture, and photographs. These images are important because they
showed what the African Americans and the Japanese modern women found
interesting. The photographs that I chose shows the loss of identity,
brutality, and enslavement of the African American slaves in the south by
American imperialism. Another picture of the Japanese women and child dressed
in western attire shows a European and western imperial influence during the
1900’s. But most importantly, the photographs are the earliest and dramatic
example of how each community was influenced by imperialism of that time.

“PHOTOGRAPHIC SOURCES”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Children with Nanny:

Circa 1905

Photograph by George and Huestis
Cook

This
photograph is an image from the Valentine Richmond History Center. It was taken
by George S. Cook (1819-1902) and his son Huestis P. Cook (1868-1951). Both
George and Huestis were white living primarily in the Richmond and Central
Virginia area and took many images of African Americans. The photograph above
shows an African Americans nanny and three white children. I was compelled to
choose this picture because of the symbolic nature of the image of the nanny. The
African Americans nanny is hiding behind the three white kids. Her face is
hidden and cannot be seen. This is symbolic of her lack of identity.  Imperialism on African Americans eradicated
the slave’s culture and freedom.  She is
wearing western type of clothing and none of her African heritage can be seen
in this photograph.     She is slave without any rights. The symbolism
of the white children in front of her are seen to have more importance and
dominance over her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Wilson,
Branded Slave from New Orleans”

1863

Charles Praxson

The
photograph depicted shows the brutal mistreatment of African Americans. The
photo shows a black man named Wilson Chinn who was a former slave. Wilson
wanted Praxson to take a photograph to illustrate how the slaves were treated.
Wilson is wearing a spiked collar and leg irons. He’s holding a paddle studded
with nails. Wilson is shown wearing a traditional American attire.  None of his African culture or heritage is
shown in this photo.  Wilson Chinn’s
purpose of taking this photograph was to show the northerners imperialistic
control of slaves in the south. The African American slaves were completely
dominated and controlled by white landowners
in the South.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Japanese
Women and Child”

1900-1939

unknown

            This black and white portrait
depicts two Japanese women and a child. The photograph was taken in between
1900 to 1930’s. I found this photograph interesting because of the clothing and
setting. The two Japanese women and the child are all wearing western clothing.
Even the background and the chair is very western styled. There is not one item
on the picture that shows any Japanese culture. The women’s hats, jackets,
skirts, and purse are all very western or European.  The influence of western imperialism is seen
in this photograph’s portrayal of a Japanese family wearing western clothing
from head to toe.  

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