Loading...

Media is loading
 

Date

5-4-2020

Description

Julie Dash's 1991 Daughters of the Dust is a film that depicts the intersectionality of being black, newly emancipated, and a woman in America, specifically in the year 1902--the dawn of the African American Great Migration. Dash is the first African American woman to direct and produce a feature length film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. This film is important because it deconstructs the stereotypical view of black women in film as a Jezebel or Mammy, by intentionally setting the film in 1902, a time between slavery and the domesticity or sexualization of black women where clothing was a social and political construct. This film consequently portrays the intersectionality of black women that examines sexism, colorism, and queerness through the lens of generational conflict. Many scholars argue that each character prioritizes themselves over their family, however, I argue each character has an individual identity that is constructed by these familial bonds. This project will discuss the progression of womanism using Dash's deliberate costume choices to conduct a character analysis of Nana Peazant as the "Enslaved Matriarch", Eula Peazant as "Man's Property", Viola Peazant as the "Desexualized Mammy", and Yellow Mary as the "Queer Mulatta" in the film.

Share

COinS
 
May 4th, 12:00 AM

"I Am the Whore and the Holy One": The Exploration of Black Female Identity in Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash's 1991 Daughters of the Dust is a film that depicts the intersectionality of being black, newly emancipated, and a woman in America, specifically in the year 1902--the dawn of the African American Great Migration. Dash is the first African American woman to direct and produce a feature length film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. This film is important because it deconstructs the stereotypical view of black women in film as a Jezebel or Mammy, by intentionally setting the film in 1902, a time between slavery and the domesticity or sexualization of black women where clothing was a social and political construct. This film consequently portrays the intersectionality of black women that examines sexism, colorism, and queerness through the lens of generational conflict. Many scholars argue that each character prioritizes themselves over their family, however, I argue each character has an individual identity that is constructed by these familial bonds. This project will discuss the progression of womanism using Dash's deliberate costume choices to conduct a character analysis of Nana Peazant as the "Enslaved Matriarch", Eula Peazant as "Man's Property", Viola Peazant as the "Desexualized Mammy", and Yellow Mary as the "Queer Mulatta" in the film.