`` Negroland And Fun Home `` By Margo Jefferson And Alison Bechdel

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In Negroland and Fun Home, Margo Jefferson and Alison Bechdel both view their individual lives and identities as interacting with history. However, their perceptions of history differ vastly in that Jefferson identifies herself as both a spectator and player in a giant game of sociocultural history, while Bechdel perceives national history as a tape reeling alongside her life, shaping her worldview but serving as a backdrop amidst her individual life. In Negroland, Jefferson relates to and traces the sociocultural and racial history of Negroes that has shaped her niche in modern society and drastically changed her expectations and perspectives. In contrast, Bechdel does not explicitly cite history as an influential force but rather hints …show more content…

Thus, expectations and conventions are imposed upon members of Negroland, such as Jefferson, so that they embody the privileges that arose over time from a complex and dynamic social hierarchy. For Jefferson, personal and racial histories are heavily interconnected, as denoted when she makes references to various historical and familial figures. Tracing the evolution of this hierarchy through the ages from the Civil War up to the present, Jefferson cites a fellow chronicler of Negroland, Anna Julia Cooper, the daughter of a slave and a slaveholder, a “Black Woman of the South” who criticizes the “masculinist” need to dominate domestically, nationally, and internationally; Cooper’s collective voice for the oppressed parallels Jefferson’s personal concern with race, gender, and class. However, Jefferson also emphasizes the collective Du Boisian “double consciousness” that Negroes in the Talented Tenth and in Negroland must face, thinking about “Them as Us,” forced to dismiss aspirations and professional duties and accept those in lower strata as equals (Jefferson 34). Jefferson undergoes a double consciousness of her own in her childhood as well, when she is forced to conform to expectations due to her status as an upper-class Negro, expectations which force her “to be ambushed by insult and humiliation” even though these expectations are set to prevent errors and

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