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Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of EvilGrowing like Topsy: Solidarity in the Work of Dismantling Evil

Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil: Growing like Topsy: Solidarity in the Work... [Solidarity amidst our differences in the face of structural evil may seem to be an exercise in tempting the agony of the absurd. Stowe’s introduction of the character Topsy in her abolitionist novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is a case in point. In this acutely troubling introduction we have of Topsy, Stowe exposes us to the traditional stereotypes of Black women slaves (regardless of age). Topsy is black, her eyes are round and they shine—they actually glitter. Her eyes, not her body, move quickly and restlessly over the contents and the people in the room. Her blackness is contrasted with the brilliant whiteness of her teeth. Her hair is woolly and braided in such a way that her plaits stick out in every direction. Her face is a mixture of shrewdness and cunning, gravity and solemnity. She has a single, ragged dress made of bagging. She appears odd and goblin-like, heathenish.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of EvilGrowing like Topsy: Solidarity in the Work of Dismantling Evil

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Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2006
ISBN
978-1-4039-7273-6
Pages
139 –158
DOI
10.1057/9780230601628_7
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[Solidarity amidst our differences in the face of structural evil may seem to be an exercise in tempting the agony of the absurd. Stowe’s introduction of the character Topsy in her abolitionist novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is a case in point. In this acutely troubling introduction we have of Topsy, Stowe exposes us to the traditional stereotypes of Black women slaves (regardless of age). Topsy is black, her eyes are round and they shine—they actually glitter. Her eyes, not her body, move quickly and restlessly over the contents and the people in the room. Her blackness is contrasted with the brilliant whiteness of her teeth. Her hair is woolly and braided in such a way that her plaits stick out in every direction. Her face is a mixture of shrewdness and cunning, gravity and solemnity. She has a single, ragged dress made of bagging. She appears odd and goblin-like, heathenish.]

Published: Oct 11, 2015

Keywords: Black Woman; Black Child; Black Girl; Black Folk; Woolly Hair

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