Mules and Dragons: Popular Culture Images in the Selected Writings of African-American and Chinese-American Women Writers

By Mary E. Young | Go to book overview

Preface

The motivation to tackle this topic was the realization that most stereotypes of women of color are inaccurate as well as malicious. As an African- American woman who has lived, worked, and traveled in East Asia, I have found that the stereotypes are far from reality. Therefore, the intent of this study has been to compare and to contrast not only the histories of two groups, African-American women and Chinese-American women, but also each group's response to the stereotyped images that have become part of American cultural history.

These two groups were chosen rather than other groups of women because of the similarities between them. Both groups were at one time denied United States citizenship, and both had popular culture images that branded them as immoral. This unique stereotyping of African- American women and Chinese-American women as immoral has set them apart from other groups of women. Native American women, Hispanic women, and Jewish women have also been stereotyped, but none of the stereotypes of these women has been as persistent, pervasive, or pernicious as the stereotypes of African-American and Chinese- American women.

In their writings, I was seeking an artistic expression of these two groups' experiences in the United States, principally responses to the stereotypes. However, in choosing authors to study, I was limited by the writings available. As a result, the African-American writers explored here reflect my personal tastes since few fail to mention the effect of the stereotypes that arose from a racist society had on their group. However,

-ix-

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Mules and Dragons: Popular Culture Images in the Selected Writings of African-American and Chinese-American Women Writers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Women's Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter One "John Chinaman" As "Sambo" 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter Three The Female Response: Harriet E. Wilson To Alice Walker 47
  • Chapter Four Dragon Ladies, Susie Wongs, And Passive Dolls 81
  • Chapter Five Sui Sin Far to Amy Tan 109
  • Chapter Six African-Americans And Chinese-Americans 133
  • Selected Bibliography 149
  • Index 155
  • About the Author 158
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