class continues, in Africana Studies: History of Work & African Americans.. Had a big debate in this class, concerning Madame CJ Walker & her cosmetics/beauty empire, and what it means/meant for black communities who participated in working for her and/or using her products. What did this mean, in comparison to American/White beauty standards? Did her entrepreneurship exacerbate self-image problems for African-Americans, or did it help to enhance self-image? Consider also the well-documented philanthropy of Ms. Walker.. Does that mitigate the 'issue', for those who think she represented a reinforcement of European-derived standards? Or does that even matter at all?

In class, things really got out of hand, as the discussion wavered from discussing the time frame of Mme. Walker, to discussing today's society, which is of course, still deeply affected by European derived standards of beauty, law & morality. The discussion went further to discuss rap music, and whether its current form is too negative in its relationship to the condition of today's black communities. More fun to come, I'm sure..


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